The covid-19 vaccine developed in China may be ready for large-scale application starting in November, a senior government official told the state press, as the global race to reach the final phase of clinical trials intensifies.
Chinese scientists are very optimistic about the advances – companies Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm even exhibited “candidate” vaccines during a trade event in Beijing this month.
Company officials told AFP they expect vaccines to be approved after phase 3 tests by the end of the year.
Yesterday, the main biosafety expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control told the state-owned CCTV channel that a vaccine would be available to the general public “around November or December”.
Wu Guizhen did not explain which vaccine he was referring to, only that “according to phase 3 clinical results, the current progress is very fast”.
The specialist said he was vaccinated in April and that he has been feeling well during the past few months, without specifying the vaccine inoculated in his body.
There are currently nine vaccine candidates being tested on humans in advanced stages, but recently some have faced obstacles: the pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford circumstantially stopped clinical trials last week after a volunteer had an unexplained side effect.
Some Chinese vaccine candidates were offered to essential workers as part of an emergency program.
A spokesman for the Sinovac company told AFP earlier this month that tens of thousands of people had been vaccinated voluntarily, including 90% of their employees and relatives, in this case between 2,000 and 3,000 people.
In June, the Chinese Army approved a vaccine for use by its soldiers, which was developed by its research unit and a biotechnology company.