In the push for a Covid-19 vaccine, China has made itself a key player by producing four of the nine vaccines to reach phase three trials worldwide. Chinese drug maker Fosun Pharma is also involved in a fifth vaccine alongside BioNTech and Pfizer.
Recently, a top health official has said that after one of the vaccines was administered to hundreds of thousands of people, “no one has shown any adverse effects or got infected.”
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Zhou Song from state-owned enterprise China National Biotec Group (CNBG) — also known as Sinopharm — expressed optimism about the results in an interview with China National Radio on Monday.
“There are indeed several subtypes of the virus that are mutating, but its main gene sequence and protein level has not fundamentally changed,” Zhou said. “The inactivated vaccine will have no problem in dealing with these mutated viruses in the next few years and can cover them.
“At present, based on the results of animal experiments, phased research results, and similar vaccines using similar technology, it is without question that immunity can last from one to three years,” he added.
The vaccine is among two that Sinopharm is developing, which, according to Tencent News, could be widely available as early as the end of December.
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In the US, decisions to fast-track vaccines to be available before the November election have left most Americans feeling doubtful about their feasibility. Creating a vaccine is just one step, after which it must undergo three phases of rigorous testing, and be given to enough of the population in order to be approved.
Nine vaccines are currently undergoing phase three trials around the world, including four made by Chinese companies.
Three of the Chinese vaccines — including two made by Sinopharm and one developed by Beijing-based pharmaceutical company Sinovac — have been specially approved for high-risk groups, such as health care workers, diplomats, and those who work overseas, while a fourth has been given the green light for use by China’s military.
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