A Chinese pharmaceutical company said Wednesday it had agreed to buy at least 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine from German company BioNTech, subject to Beijing approving its use.
China has been rapidly developing its own Covid-19 vaccine candidates and ramping up production facilities, but local firms have also been partnering with foreign developers to supply the world’s most populous country.
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group said its subsidiary had entered into an agreement with the German firm aimed at ensuring “an adequate supply” of vaccines in China, adding it will make an initial payment of 125 million euros ($152 million) before year-end for 50 million doses.
Fosun Pharma said it would pay the remaining 125 million euros after receiving authorisation to commercialise the German vaccine in mainland China.
The agreement did not detail when the remaining 50 million doses would arrive.
Pfizer and BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine has already been approved for emergency use in countries such as the US, the UK and Singapore.
Its vaccine is based on cutting-edge technology that uses synthetic versions of molecules called messenger RNA to hack into human cells, and effectively turn them into vaccine-making factories.
Beijing has five vaccines in the final stages of development, saying at least a million people were to receive a jab after vaccine candidates were approved for emergency use.
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