China OKs its first mRNA vaccine, from drugmaker CSPC

China has approved its first domestically developed messenger RNA vaccine against COVID-19, CSPC Pharmaceutical Group said Wednesday, a major achievement in a country that has declined to use Western COVID-19 shots to support domestic research.

China, whose home-grown vaccines are seen as less effective than the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA shots, has been racing to develop vaccines using mRNA technology since early 2020.

The long-awaited approval comes as infections have fallen sharply across China since it suddenly dropped its strict “zero-COVID” curbs in December, making the sales outlook for the newly approved vaccine moderate.

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