Zhejiang province in eastern China has reportedly rolled-out a scheme that would provide shots of potential COVID-19 vaccines to residents in just under $60. According to South China Morning Post, Zhejiang has approved vaccines developed by China, still in their final phase of human trials, for emergency use in the province through the local Center for Disease Control office. Cheng Guansheng, vice secretary-general of the provincial government, has said that the vaccine shots will be given to residents in autumn and winter.
Cheng Guangsheng further added that the vaccines developed by Chinese Pharmaceutical Companies have entered the final phase of human trials and have so far not displayed any severe effects on volunteers. Chen said that residents of the worst affected areas and vulnerable population will be given priority. He said that the first group of people to be vaccinated would be front line workers, including medical staff, security forces and people working at quarantine centers.
According to the Chinese Health Department, to date more than 3,50,000 people have been inoculated by potential COVID-19 vaccines in the country with no adverse effects reported apart from mild pain, redness at the injection site, or slight fatigue.
Experts believe that the vaccine program being rolled out in Zhejiang is a pilot project by the Chinese Communist Party to test the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines before they can be distributed to other parts of the country.
In September, Wu Guizhen, the Chief bio safety expert at the national CDC, had told state-run broadcaster CCTV that a vaccine for mass distribution in China would be available by November end.
However, the World Health Organization has said that a safe and effective COVID-19 could be no available until mid-2021. As per WHO, currently, there are more than 150 vaccine candidates being developed across the world.