China Approves an mRNA Covid Vaccine, Its First

China has for the first time approved a Covid-19 vaccine based on mRNA technology, greenlighting a homegrown shot months after the ruling Communist Party eliminated its strict pandemic restrictions in December.

The shot, developed by CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd., based in the northern Chinese city of Shijiazhuang, was approved for emergency use by China’s health regulator, according to a statement from the company on Wednesday.

China has long refused to use the foreign-made mRNA shots that were crucial in easing the pandemic in many parts of the world. It chose instead to promote its own pharmaceutical firms, first in rolling out a more traditional but less effective Covid vaccine, and later, in the pursuit of a homegrown mRNA, or messenger RNA, vaccine.

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