China National Biotec Group (CNBG) announced Wednesday that an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine production workshop of its affiliated Beijing institute of biological products has passed national examination and it is now available for use, reported the Global Times.
"Government departments conducted a thorough biosecurity examination of the production workshop in July, and concluded the facility met national standards, and could go into operation for mass production of COVID-19 vaccines," the news source said, citing a statement from CNBG.
After the Beijing manufacturing workshop and another production facility belonging to CNBG's Wuhan institute of biological products begin operations, CNBG will be capable of ensuring an annual capacity of 220 million doses of vaccines, according to its developer.
The 220 million doses are to be used to first immunize medical staff and personnel working at airports and border checkpoints, said Tao Lina, a Shanghai-based vaccine researcher.
"It is possible that China could have a COVID-19 vaccine as early as the end of October as some domestically made COVID-19 vaccines have entered Phase III trials and need about a month to observe their effects on samples," Tao said.
After securing a certain amount of vaccine for China's strategic reserves, exports can be considered, Tao noted, adding countries such as the Philippines and Brazil are potential destinations.
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