Respiratory disease expert assesses success of China's campaign
China’s renowned respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan has revealed many countries are speeding up coronavirus vaccine development.
By mid January, 15 vaccines had been entered phase III clinical trials, 63 are in clinical research and 172 in pre-clinical research around the world.
“China will continue different kinds of vaccine research,” he said in a video speech at the International Congress on Luobing Theory in Shanghai on Saturday.
“Now we are in the condition of emergency approval and use of coronavirus vaccines. The effective rate is a rate taking place in one region and at one time. We should look for the long-term efficiency.
"We should look for the whole picture to do evaluation on vaccines. The protection rate is only one aspect. We also should check other issues like protection duration, cost performance and whether it is easy for transportation and storage. A good vaccine is not developed just within one or two years. It needs several years to become an ideal vaccine.”
He reiterated the importance of wearing masks, washing hands and frequent disinfection.
“Research has found about 70 percent of coronavirus patients have coughs," he said. "Coughing and sneezing can produce large quantity of droplets and aerosols. Masks are therefore effective."
He added coronavirus prevention measures also reduced the duration of the flu season by six weeks in China.
"The prevalence of flu dropped by 63 percent in southern regions and 80 percent of northern regions through monitoring cases from surveillance hospitals since January last year," he said.
"The number of children visiting pediatric hospitals also was down due to these measures.”
He said the methods China took, such as the lockdown of Wuhan, and control measures around the nation when there were sporadic cases were effective.
“We are able to control the epidemic from the beginning," he said.
"Quarantine and large-scale nucleic acid tests will be launched immediately whenever a local case is detected."
He said the combined Western and traditional Chinese medicine therapy also enhanced treatment effects for coronavirus patients in China.
The antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects of certain TCM, like Lianhua Qingwen capsules, have been confirmed after monitoring patients’ symptoms and CT scanning. Evidence-based researches testified TCM's effects of enhancing patients' recovery, he added.