State-owned Chinese firm SinoPharm says its employees, including top executives, received an experimental COVID-19 vaccine even before the government approved testing in people, as reported in ABC News.
"Giving a helping hand in forging the sword of victory," reads an online post from SinoPharm, with pictures of company leaders it says helped "pre-test" its vaccine.
SinoPharm's claim that 30 "special volunteers" received the vaccine even before the company got permission for its initial clinical study raises ethical concerns among Western observers, the news source said.
The company's post cites a "spirit of sacrifice" and shows seven men, a mix of scientists, businessmen and one Communist Party official.
SinoPharm, which did not comment on this report, is testing two vaccine candidates that received government permission for Phase I trials in mid- to late April, ABC News said.
In a post on its subsidiary's official WeChat account, the company says it conducted its "pre-test" at the end of March "to make the vaccines hit the market as early as possible."
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