20 medicines, 13 vaccines for COVID-19 currently having clinical trials

â–²The National Medical Products Administration holds a press conference to mark a month campaign for medicine knowledge on Tuesday. Photo: Cao Siqi/GT

 Some 20 types of medicine and 13 vaccines for COVID-19 have entered into clinical trials, among which four vaccines are in the final stage, officials from the National Medical Products Administration revealed on Tuesday. 

At a press conference in Beijing to announce the country’s safe drug use month, Chen Shifei, deputy director of the administration, said they have prioritized the approval process for new drugs since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic. 

To save time, the administration also approved two drugs for emergency use and 49 types of testing reagents can go on sale, Chen said. 

Chen said the administration will improve the emergency medical instrument examination and approval system and enhance its ability to respond to major public health events.

“We will accelerate the process of putting new drugs on the market both at home and abroad, and meet people’s need for new drugs,” Chen said. 

China’s total annual production capacity of COVID-19 vaccines will likely reach 610 million doses by the end of the year, said Zheng Zhongwei, a member of the National Health Commission, at a news conference in Beijing on October 21. 

The production capacity will continue to expand next year to meet the demand for COVID-19 vaccines in China and other countries, Zheng said. 

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