The flagship health care platform of one of China’s leading tech giants – Alibaba Health Information Technology – has inked an agreement with Chinese coronavirus vaccine developer Sinovac Biotech.

The strategic cooperation deal, announced by Alibaba Health on Thursday, implies that the firms will set up a platform for coronavirus vaccine inoculation. The partnership will also cover online booking of vaccines and checking patients’ post-vaccination health condition.

China is one of several countries forging ahead in the race to develop and deliver a coronavirus vaccine. Sinovac’s experimental drug called CoronaVac is one of the few vaccine candidates undergoing large-scale trials at home and abroad, including tests in Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey and possible future tests in Bangladesh.

While Sinovac has already inoculated tens of thousands of people in China, Beijing signaled that it wants to extend the trials. On Thursday, the drug maker said that the Chinese regulator had granted permission to start a clinical trial of CoronaVac with children and teenagers. The tests are set to start later this month in the northern Chinese province of Hebei.

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