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COVID-19 vaccine could arrive before year’s end

 

Samples of the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine are seen at a vaccine production plant of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) in Beijing, capital of China, April 10, 2020. Photo:Xinhua

Credit: People’s Daily

Two COVID-19 vaccine candidates with the China National Biotec Group (CNBG) have been proven safe in current clinical trials and could be available by the end of the year or early 2021, Yang Xiaoming, president of CNBG said in a report on Thursday.

CNBG has two COVID-19 vaccine candidates in phase two clinical trials. According to Yang, the efficacy of the candidates will be tested in phase three trials, which should be conducted in an epicenter of the virus. CNBG is communicating with other countries to launch clinical trials, said Yang.

Efficacy will be estimated whether the vaccine could protect people from the virus, reduce infection, or relieve symptoms should infections occur after taking the vaccines, Yang said.

According to experts reached by the Global Times, clinical trials abroad could also help to test a vaccine’s efficacy on different races as well as different mutations and virus strains.

Both vaccine candidates have inactivated vaccines. According to Yang, the probability is low that inactivated vaccines’ efficacy weakens due to virus mutations.

Approximately 110 COVID-19 vaccines are in development, with eight in clinical trials: four from China, three from the US, and one from the UK, according to the WHO website.

China’s CDC director Gao Fu previously said that a vaccine candidate would hopefully be available for emergency use in September.

Yang said it would be ideal if everybody could be vaccinated when an emergency vaccine becomes available. Yang also thought that medical workers, people working in public service fields like restaurants and airlines, should be prioritized as they are exposed to higher infection risks.

Once it is activated, CNBG is capable of producing 200 million vaccine doses in 10 months, Yang said.

 

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