China pushes emergency use of Covid vaccine despite concerns

China pushes emergency use of Covid vaccine despite concerns

After the first shot, he had no reaction. But Kan Chai felt woozy following the second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine approved for emergency use in China. “When I was driving on the road, I suddenly felt a bit dizzy, as if I was driving drunk,” the popular writer and columnist recounted on a webinar earlier this month. “So I specially found a place to stop the car, rest a bit and then I felt better.”

His is a rare account from the hundreds of thousands of people who have been given Chinese vaccines, before final regulatory approval for general use. It’s an unusual move that raises ethical and safety questions, as companies and governments worldwide race to develop a vaccine that will stop the spread of the new coronavirus. Chinese companies earlier drew attention for giving the vaccine to their top executives and leading researchers before human trials to test their safety and efficacy had even begun. In recent months, they have injected a far larger number under an emergency use designation approved in June, and that number appears poised to rise.

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