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China is treating tens of thousands of its citizens with experimental coronavirus vaccines that have not had completed standard testing — raising concerns about safety.

In July, China launched a vaccine emergency use program offering three experimental shots developed by a unit of state pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech.

The vaccines were aimed to protect essential workers, including those in the medical field, transportation industry and grocery store workers.

But now, China National Biotec Group — the Sinopharm unit developing two of the emergency use vaccines — and Sinovac Biotech have confirmed that at least tens of thousands of people have been jabbed with the untested inoculations.

Among those who received an early shot was the chief biosafety expert for the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“So far, among the people who were vaccinated, no one has been sick with the disease,” Guizhen Wu said on state TV this week, while also revealing she had received a vaccination in April.

“So far, [the vaccination scheme] works very well. No side effect occurred.”

A fourth COVID-19 vaccine being developed by CanSino Biologics was also approved for use by the Chinese military in June.

AFP via Getty Images

AFP via Getty Images

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September 16, 2020

At least some of the vaccines would be ready for public use as early as November, Wu said.

Meanwhile, experts in Western countries have warned against green-lighting the emergency use of vaccines that have not completed testing due to a lack of knowledge about longer-term effectiveness and potential side effects.

Anna Durbin, a vaccine researcher at Johns Hopkins University, called China’s emergency use program as “very problematic.”

“You’re vaccinating people and you don’t know if it’s going to protect them,” Durbin told Reuters.

Russia is among the few other countries to authorize the use of an experimental vaccine, making its own “Sputnik V” vaccine mandatory for certain groups, including teachers.

And this week, the United Arab Emirates authorized the emergency use of a Sinopharm vaccine, resulting in the first international emergency clearance for one of China’s vaccines.

Filed under china ,  Coronavirus ,  medicine ,  vaccines ,  9/16/20

News Source: New York Post

Tags: china china medicine vaccines emergency use

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837,000 more sought unemployment aid as layoffs persist

WASHINGTON -- 837,000 Americans filed unemployment claims last week as layoffs persist.

This is a breaking news update. A previous version of this report is below.

The government will provide its latest picture Thursday of the pace of layoffs in the United States, which have remained high as some sectors of the economy have rebounded since the viral pandemic erupted in March while others remain depressed.

The still-elevated number of people seeking unemployment benefits each week reflects an economy that has recovered only about half the 22 million jobs that were lost to the pandemic. Many employers, especially small retailers, hotels, restaurants, airlines and entertainment venues, are still struggling. And millions of Americans are facing unemployment with vastly diminished aid since the expiration of a $600-a-week federal benefit this summer.

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At the same time, some newly laid-off people are facing delays in receiving unemployment benefits as some state agencies intensify efforts to combat fraudulent applications and clear out backlogged claims. California, the largest state, has stopped processing new applications for two weeks as it seeks to reduce backlogs and pursue suspected fraud.

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Tens of thousands of airline workers will be furloughed as the CARES Act Payroll Support Program expires.

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