China plans to approve its first foreign Covid-19 vaccine before July, according to The Wall Street Journal. The move reflects mounting pressure from domestic scientists and foreign business community to expand beyond the country’s vaccine shots.
Chinese officials have been examining clinical-trial data for the coronavirus vaccine made by BioNTech SE and are expected to approve domestic distribution within the next 10 weeks
Although China’s shot makers say their vaccines are close to 100% effective, public health experts in the country have pushed for western shots that are better at preventing milder infections.
Foreign businesses are eager to add western vaccines in China to make it easier to travel overseas, where foreign shots are more accepted.
In December, BioNTech agreed to work with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. to deliver 100 million doses to China in 2021, pending approval.
Part of the decision on BioNTech is the 2022 Winter Olympics, which are scheduled to take place in China in February.
China has so far approved four domestic vaccines for general use and one for emergency use.