China set to roll out its COVID-19 vaccination

China set to roll out its COVID-19 vaccination

Beijing prepares to approve 600m inactivated doses by end-December

SHANGHAI — China is making the final preparations before rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use and mass production, even as clinical trials for various vaccines continue locally and abroad.

Unlike some countries, which have already authorized vaccines, Beijing is treading cautiously, balancing the needs of serving a huge domestic population and meeting international demand, with several vaccine candidates being trialed.

Vice premier Sun Chunlan said on Wednesday that the groundwork for production and emergency use of a vaccine was “progressing smoothly,” and she called for people in high-risk workplaces — such as ports — to be inoculated this month.

China has had sporadic local infections in recent months which authorities have blamed on imported frozen food packaging.

Sun made her remarks when visiting China’s National Institute for Food and Drug Control, an agency that comes under the National Medical Product Administration, the country’s drugs regulator.