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China likely to approve BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine by July - WSJ

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Injections with doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are pictured in Berlin

(Reuters) - China is planning to authorize the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Germany's BioNTech SE by July, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

If approved, it would become the first foreign COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized in the country.

Chinese officials are reviewing clinical-trial data for the vaccine and are expected to authorize it for domestic use within the next 10 weeks, the report said.

BioNTech said in a statement that it does not speculate on timings of approvals.

The National Health Commission of China and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd, which signed a potential supply deal with the German drugmaker in August for the vaccine, did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment. (https://reut.rs/2Q8psHJ)

The vaccine, developed in collaboration with Pfizer Inc, is already approved in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel.

U.S.-listed shares of BioNTech were up 3.3% at $145.4 on Friday.

(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)