China is telling state employees it’s safe to use an experimental coronavirus vaccine

Around the world, scientists are conducting studies at rapid speed with the hope of finding a coronavirus vaccine. Six companies are currently in the final stages of testing, of which three—Sinopharm, CanSino, and Sinovac Biotech—are in China.

No vaccine has yet to complete the all-important third phase trials, which establish efficacy and longer-term safety profiles by following thousands of participants. But that hasn’t stopped China National Biotec Group (CNBG), a subsidiary of Sinopharm, from telling state-owned companies that the vaccines are safe and ready for their employees to use.

A letter from a subsidiary of China TravelSky Holding Co, a state-owned travel company, to its employees in June claimed Sinopharm’s two coronavirus vaccines were safe and effective, and were available to employees of state-owned companies working at airports and in international travel, according to the Wall Street Journal. The letter did not acknowledge that the vaccines were still going through clinical trials. Similarly, a letter sent to employees at state-owned oil giant, PetroChina, offered the chance to be among the first to take a coronavirus vaccine and did not mention possible risks, according to the New York Times.

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