Chinese troops get COVID-19 vaccine

By Leng Shumei Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/20 19:38:40

No one infected despite exposure in epidemic-hit areas

CanSino Bio Photo:VCG

Many Chinese military personnel, including peacekeeping personnel, have received a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Tianjin-based CanSino Biologics, and none of them got infected after vaccination, Yu Xuefeng, CanSino chairman and CEO, told a forum on Friday. 

CanSino announced in June that Ad5-nCoV, a recombinant novel coronavirus vaccine the company developed with a military research team led by the military medical expert Chen Wei, had received a special one-year military drug approval.  

At the Qiming Venture Partners CEO Summit, Yu said that the vaccine had been used on many military personnel, including peacekeeping team members working in epidemic affected areas.

None of them were infected after vaccination, and we are confident in our vaccine, Yu noted. 

While US vaccine producers Pfizer and Moderna followed each other releasing midterm data of Phase III clinical trials on their candidates, Yu said CanSino will not rush.

He confirmed that international Phase III clinical trials on Ad5-nCoV are progressing smoothly.  

CanSino began international Phase III clinical trials on Ad5-nCoV in Russia, Pakistan and Mexico. Other countries like Chile and Saudi Arabia are also reportedly in negotiations with the company over cooperation on clinical trials.  

Another Chinese vaccine producer, Sinopharm, announced Wednesday that their two inactivated vaccines had been administered to nearly 1 million people for emergency use, and no serious adverse reactions have been reported. Nearly 60,000 volunteers participated in the group's Phase III clinical trials on the vaccines in more than 10 countries. 

As the world looks forward to a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, Yu warned that potential demand for billions of doses will pose an unprecedented challenge to producers and authorities. 

China's total annual production capacity of COVID-19 vaccines would likely exceed 610 million doses by the end of the year, Chinese health authority said in October.

In 2019, China approved 565 million doses of vaccines, a 5.8 percent year-on-year increase.  

Vaccine producers and authorities will face some pressure in production and approval to meet the massive demand after a COVID-19 vaccine is available on the market. Their workload will probably double, but I think they will make proper arrangements to deal with the challenge, and will not be a big problem, Tao Lina, a Shanghai-based virus and immunology expert, told the Global Times. 


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