From vaccine to respirators, COVID-19 solutions to feature prominently at 3rd CIIE in China
Published: Oct 22, 2020 02:38 PM

Gardeners prepare flower decorations for the upcoming 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) at a square of the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, east China, Oct. 14, 2020. The 3rd CIIE will be held from Nov. 5 to 10 in Shanghai. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

At a time when many overseas countries are still being ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, the third China International Import Expo (CIIE), China's largest import fair, is likely to become a showcase for international anti-epidemicproducts and solutions ranging from vaccine development to respirators. 

For example, UK-based drug maker AstraZeneca confirmed that it would display the technology of a COVID-19 vaccine, which is being developed jointly by the company and Oxford University, in a special anti-epidemic display area of the 3rd CIIE which runs from November 5-10 in Shanghai. 

Earlier this year, AstraZeneca signed an agreement with mainland vaccine producer Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products to manufacture the aforementioned vaccine. 

"We want to make use of the 3rd CIIE to display our efforts related to the coronavirus vaccine development, with the hope that the vaccine can be approved (by Chinese authorities) at some time next year," Leon Wang, executive vice president of AstraZeneca, revealed on Thursday during a press conference. 

Wang said that the company didn't care that much about the "commercial returns" of the anti-coronavirus products. "China does not lag behind other countries in COVID-19 vaccine development, but we hope that our vaccine can be one of the options for China, and that a global COVID-19 vaccine can land in the country," he told the Global Times.

US medical device company Medtronic also revealed that they would display COVID-19 technologies and products at the upcoming CIIE, including various ventilators and their Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) technology which has been used in fighting the coronavirus in Wuhan city in early-2020. 

By the end of October 14, 48 exhibitors had signed with the expo's organizer to display their COVID-19 products and solutions at the above mentioned coronavirus display region. 

Experts said that although the coronavirus has largely been under control in China, China still needs to import COVID-19 technologies and products, with some products like respirators and face masks to have lasting demand even after the epidemic is over. 

Jiang Han, senior research fellow at the Pangoal think tank, told the Global Times that before the COVID-19 drug is launched, market demand for COVID-19 vaccines will still be huge. 

"Whether China will import COVID-19 vaccines in the future depends on the general market reaction, but until now, I think the Chinese market still needs COVID-19 vaccine from multiple sources, as long as their safety can be guaranteed," Jiang told the Global Times.

But there are also experts who think that China won't import COVID-19 products on a large scale, as China has already managed to produce some of them with lower costs, and there's no proof that overseas vaccines are better than domestic ones in quality. 

Global Times