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Sinopharm's Wuhan affiliate boosts COVID-19 shot annual capacity to 1 billion doses

Sinopharm's Wuhan affiliate boosts COVID-19 shot annual capacity to 1 billion doses

FILE PHOTO: A Sinopharm sign is seen at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, China, September 5, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

BEIJING: A Wuhan-based affiliate of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) said the start of operations at a new factory will raise the annual production capacity of its COVID-19 vaccine to at least 1 billion doses.

The Wuhan Institute of Biological Products made the announcement in a statement released late on Monday through social media. It did not specify when it will operate the factory at full capacity.

Still, the announcement marks a step toward state-backed Sinopharm's annual capacity target of 3 billion doses for its COVID-19 vaccines.

The Beijing Institute of Biological Products, another Sinopharm affiliate whose shot gained emergency-use approval from the World Health Organization, has a factory with annual capacity of 1 billion doses and is also building a new facility.

China has approved four COVID-19 vaccines from domestic makers Sinopharm, Sinovac Biotech Ltd and CanSino Biologics Inc for general public use, and three other vaccines for emergency use.

Sinovac, whose COVID-19 vaccine capacity is 2 billion doses per year, on Tuesday said it has supplied over 600 million doses at home and abroad as of the end of May.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

Source: Reuters

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