March 30, 2023

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China is the first to approve an inhalable Covid vaccine

Chinese authorities have approved an inhalable Covid vaccine, lifting the manufacturer’s share price in Tianjin (north) on Monday.

CanSino Biologics’ vaccine, which can be used as an emergency booster dose, has received the green light from the National Medical Products Administration, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Sunday.

After the announcement, its share price rose 14% to close at 7.1% on Monday morning.

Requiring no injection and easy to store, the vaccine is administered nasally with a sprayer.

“If the vaccine is subsequently procured and used by relevant government agencies, the approval will have a positive impact on business performance,” the statement said.

A July 2021 study in The Lancet noted that the adenovirus vaccine elicited a “stronger antibody response” as a booster dose, but CanSino did not say when it would be available to the general public.

Scientists from several countries around the world, including Cuba, Canada and the United States, are developing vaccines that can be administered through the nose, the entry route for the coronavirus.

Since 2020, China has approved eight domestically developed Covid vaccines, but has yet to authorize the use of foreign Covid vaccines on its soil.

Despite having a much lower number of contaminations than the rest of the world, the country continues to follow a strict hygiene strategy known as “Zero Covid”.

This policy will be followed by mandatory PCR tests, quarantined workplaces and closure of factories and businesses once positive cases appear, almost every 72, 48 or 24 hours.

Shenzhen (South), a hi-tech temple and metropolis of 18 million people, has several districts on lockdown this weekend.

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At the other end of the country, residents of Chengdu in the (southwest) province of Sichuan have also been forced to stay at home and will undergo mass testing between Monday and Wednesday.