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Chinese company Sinopharm has applied for regulatory approval to release a COVID-19 vaccine for public use

Chinese company Sinopharm has applied for regulatory approval to release a COVID-19 vaccine for public use, but nearly a million people have already taken test shots.

Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm on Tuesday applied to the nation's health regulators to launch COVID-19 vaccines for public use, based on multiple news reports.

However, nearly a million people have already been injected with test bullets since the Chinese government authorized the vaccines to be used in emergency situations in July.

Bloomberg News reports that the rush to access these test footage has raised fears of a thriving black market for vaccines.

As vaccine developers in Western countries prepare for the global distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines, Sinopharm said it is testing the safety and efficacy of inactivated coronavirus vaccines. However, it has not yet published any public data regarding vaccine efficacy in its Phase 3 trials.

That hasn't stopped some people from looking to a vaccine intended for frontline workers.

An anonymous source told Bloomberg that he paid $ 91 for two doses of what he believed to be the Sinopharma vaccine.

"You are only transferring money to it via Alipay, but it won't tell you the details because it is clearly a black market," the source told Bloomberg, referring to the digital payments app run by Alibaba.

Sinopharm's request to officially release its vaccines came after Pfizer and Moderna announced recently that their vaccines were 95% and 94.5% effective, respectively.

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford announced that their two-dose vaccine could be up to 90% effective, but a trial error cast doubt on its rate of effectiveness. AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said Thursday that the company will likely re-test its COVID-19 vaccine.

The rush to secure Sinopharm vaccines in China highlights potential challenges to ensuring fair and transparent distribution of coronavirus vaccines around the world.

The people who have successfully accessed experimental Sinopharm vaccines in China are usually those with privileged connections and want protection before they travel.

Employees in government ministries and state-owned companies as well as bank employees face low barriers to immunization, according to Bloomberg.

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