After getting permission to use the experimental vaccine in China, the pharmaceutical company Can Sino Biologics announced that it has also received special permission to apply the experimental vaccine to Chinese army personnel.
China initiated the emergency use program in July.
China has been giving experimental Covid-19 vaccines to people including state employees, global students and essential workers heading overseas since July.
Two vaccine candidates are developed by Sinopharm's subsidiary China National Biotec Group (CNBG), and the third is developed by Sinovac Biotech.
Pfizer is expected to seek US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for its vaccine Friday.
"In terms of emergency use, the vaccines were applied to almost a million people and there has not been a single case of a serious adverse event". Liu Jingjen, chairman of Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm, said those who were given the vaccine did not see serious adverse effects, with some complaining of only minor discomfort.
The vaccine comprises a modified chimpanzee adenovirus - a weakened version of a common cold virus.
But rival drugmakers Pfizer Inc, BioNTech and Moderna Inc. have in the past 10 days edged ahead, releasing data from late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trials that shows more than 90 per cent efficacy. 40,000 participants have had blood samples taken upon being administered the second dose, said Jingzhen.
A leading Chinese vaccine maker said it has commenced phase-3 clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine and is planning to recruit 29,000 volunteers across the world.
"Inducing robust immune responses in older adults has been a long-standing challenge in human vaccine research", Dr Angela Minassian, Investigator at the University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases said in a statement. The researchers also stress that 240 participants were over the age of 70 and their immune responses were similar to younger people in this clinical trial as well as the results from the younger cohort from Phase I. This is a very important result given how older adults are one of the most-at-risk groups.
Both low and standard doses of the vaccine triggered responses in both parts of the immune system. Demand is clearly high, and several wealthy nations already have their pre-orders in place.