Kangtai Biological's COVID-19 vaccine gets emergency use approval in China

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has given emergency use approval to a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products, the company said on Friday, adding a sixth shot to the country’s vaccination drive.

China has already administered 366.9 million doses to people using five home-made products, three of which adopt a similar technology as the Kangtai shot, where inactivated coronavirus that cannot replicate in human cells is used to trigger an immune response.

Kangtai did not say on Friday what sectors of China’s population its shot could be used in, when use would start or how long the approval will be effective.

A clinical trial record in April said Kangtai aimed to start a Phase III clinical trial this month involving 28,000 participants aged 18 and above to evaluate the efficacy and safety of its two dose-based shot given 28 days apart.

The record, published in the site, which is maintained by a department under the National Institute of Health of the United States, did not specify where the trial will take place.

China’s vaccine administration law allows emergency use “within certain scope and time limit” of vaccines during major health crises. A COVID-19 shot from a unit of Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products is also being used in the country under emergency clearance.

Kangtai has also obtained exclusive right to develop and manufacture the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University in mainland China.

Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Meg Shen; Editing by Frances Kerry