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China vaccine maker Sinopharm says chairman and a director resigned

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A health worker shows a dose of China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in the Jordanian capital Amman on January 13, 2021.

Khalil Mazraawi | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING — Sinopharm, a state-owned giant in China’s coronavirus vaccine development, announced its chairman left the board Tuesday.

The company cited personal reasons for Li Zhiming’s resignation, according to a filing for the Hong Kong-listed company. Li Hui, a director and audit committee member of Sinopharm subsidiary China National Medicines Corp. also resigned Tuesday due to personal reasons, a separate filing disclosed.

In late December, Chinese authorities approved a vaccine developed by a Beijing-based subsidiary of Sinopharm for general launch. The company said the vaccine had efficacy of 79.34% after a phase three test, according to state media.

Earlier in December, the United Arab Emirates said the vaccine was 86% effective.

There was no direct indication the resignations came as a result of vaccine-related work. The company did not immediately respond to CNBC’s emailed request for comment.

Different countries have released varying results about the efficacy of a coronavirus vaccine from another Chinese company, Sinovac.

A WHO team is working with producers of Covid-19 vaccines from Chinese pharmaceutical companies Sinovac and Sinopharm “to assess compliance with international quality manufacturing practices ahead of potential emergency use listing by WHO,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said earlier this week.

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