Shanghai community hospitals introduce new COVID-19 vaccines covering Omicron variants
Published: May 23, 2023 08:40 PM Updated: May 23, 2023 08:36 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Some community hospitals in Shanghai have introduced new COVID-19 vaccines covering the Omicron variants, including the protein subunit vaccine and the mRNA vaccine, which are available for people aged above 18.

The protein subunit vaccine called SCTV01E vaccine developed by Beijing-based Sinocelltech has been available in some community hospitals in Shanghai and residents meeting the required conditions can go to the clinics for vaccination, according to the local health authorities. The mRNA vaccine developed by Shijiazhuang-based drug maker CSPC Pharmaceutical Group will arrive soon in some community service centers.

More Chinese netizens are saying that they were infected with COVID-19 for a second time in recent days. Since December 9, 2022, the positive rate of COVID-19 nucleic acid tests in the country increased at the beginning and then decreased, according to the latest report released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on April 29. The number of COVID-19 cases decreased to 2,661 on April 20, and increased in the week from April 21 to April 27, to 6,752 on April 27, said China CDC.

An employee from a Xuhui district community hospital told the Global Times on Tuesday that currently residents meeting the required conditions can receive SCTV01E vaccine there. 

Sinocelltech has announced the final results of the phase III clinical trial of SCTV01E, saying that it has shown good protective efficacy against Omicron and its sub-strains. CSPC’s mRNA vaccine has a good cross-protection effect against the Omicron variants, according to media reports.

Uninfected adults above 18 years old can receive the first booster shots three months after being fully vaccinated, according to the health authorities.

People who have previously been infected with COVID-19 but have yet to be fully vaccinated can receive a vaccine shot three months after the infection, said the authorities.

Based on the data from our hospital, 60 percent of COVID-19 patients treated in the past two weeks were infected for the first time, and 40 percent were reinfected, with symptoms mostly like fever, sore throat and other respiratory symptoms, Lu Hongzhou, head of the Third People’s Hospital of Shenzhen, told the Global Times on Tuesday. But the symptoms for reinfected people are relatively mild, and the period of developing symptoms is relatively shorter.

“The immunodeficient population is the key group that needs to be vaccinated. The recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine, adenovirus vector vaccine or mRNA vaccine should be given priority, and the nasal spray vaccine can provide better protection as well,” said Lu. People’s cellular immune response plays an important role, Lu explained. 

China’s National Health Commission in April unveiled the latest plan for COVID-19 vaccination, aiming to increase the immunity levels of certain groups and reduce the risks of severe infection and death caused by the viruses.