China approves swine flu vaccine8th September 2009
A vaccine that allegedly prevents swine flu after a single dose has been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration in China.
Plans to mass-produce the drug are now under way, according to the maker of the vaccine, Sinovac.
The company's US-listed shares rose by leaps and bounds over the past few weeks, reaching a historic high of US$12.45 ahead of the announcement that it would be able to manufacture and sell its vaccine.
The company was the first among more than a dozen pharmaceutical giants to complete clinical trials of an H1N1 swine flu vaccine.
The Chinese government has said that it now plans to provide vaccines for 5% of the general population by the end of 2009.
Sinovac recently reported that the Chinese government made 3.3 million orders for the vaccine, to be delivered by early next week.
However, experts have said that two doses will be needed with the Chinese company's vaccine, and further data from the company is still needed to evaluate the jab.
Sinovac Chief Executive Yin Weidong said that, at the beginning of the year, his company forecast its sales would rise by 20%.
He said that, looking at things now, H1N1 had given them an opportunity to see sales rise by more than 20%.
Sinovac is not the only company developing a vaccine in China.
Hualan Biological, a company listed on the Shanghai share index, has already been given the go-ahead by a panel of experts for its vaccine.
Of the many companies worldwide that are currently engaged in developing their own, topping the list is GlaxoSmithKline, the world's second largest pharmaceutical company, which has received orders from governments all over the world currently totalling 291 million.
Sanofi-Aventis, the world's leading producer of flu shots, has received orders from France and the US.
CSL, the Australian group, has won large contracts from the Australian government and United States.
With children now returning back to school, health warnings have increased.
A high school in Xin'an county, in China's central province of Henan, was closed recently after 80 students were diagnosed with H1N1 swine flu.
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Title: China approves swine flu vaccine
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 12552
Date Added: 8th Sep 2009