Edited by Yang Jian. Subtitles by Yang Jian.
A local resident takes a shot of the first Shanghai-produced COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday.
Shanghai's first mass produced COVID-19 vaccine hit the market on Thursday from a newly launched vaccine gigafactory in the northern suburbs.
The single-dose vaccine from CanSino Biologics – called Convidecia – is the only one-shot COVID-19 vaccine among the seven novel coronavirus vaccines authorized for use in China. It can create antibody immunity in two weeks.
The first batch of the locally produced vaccines rolled off the automated production line at the gigafactory, covering more than 30,000 square meters in suburban Baoshan District.
The factory, jointly developed by Shanghai Pharmaceuticals and STAR-listed CanSino Bio, can produce 200 million shots of the COVID-19 vaccines annually.
It will largely boost the vaccine supply capacity of Shanghai and the city's resistance against major communicable diseases in future, according to Shanghai Pharmaceuticals.
The recombinant vaccine was approved for use in China in February 2021 as the nation's third successful shot for COVID-19. It uses a modified common cold virus known as adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) to carry genetic material from the coronavirus protein into the body.
The first batch of Shanghai-produced COVID-19 vaccines roll off the automated production line at the gigafactory in Baoshan District on Thursday.
It was jointly developed by Tianjin-based CanSino and a team led by Chen Wei, a researcher from the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences.
The vaccine has also been approved for a clinical trial in its inhaled version in China.
Tests show that the vaccine is 68.83 percent effective in preventing all symptomatic COVID-19 disease and 95.47 percent effective in preventing severe COVID-19 disease 14 days after vaccination.
Shots from Sinovac and Sinopharm, the first two COVID-19 vaccines approved in China, have shown efficacy of between 50 percent and 91 percent.
The CanSino vaccine has also been authorized or tested in Pakistan, Mexico, Russia, Argentina and Chile, according to clinical trial registration data.
The single-dose vaccine provides efficient and timely protection, while making it more convenient for those unable to move freely or too busy to receive injections of double-dose COVID-19 vaccines, Shanghai Pharmaceuticals said.
The new factory in Baoshan is the first approved COVID-19 vaccine producer in Shanghai. The factory, with total construction area of about 50,000 square meters, has four buildings for vaccination production and another structure for supportive facilities.
The newly unveiled production line of the CanSino vaccine in Baoshan District.
The production process is unmanned, with intelligent manufacturing and RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, technologies used to ensure efficiency and safety.
Robotic arms finish the cleaning, disinfection, capping, inspection and packing of the vaccines automatically. The newly produced vaccines are delivered to the warehouse immediately under strict temperature control. The origin and injection of each shot can be traced.
A previous Chinese study looking at mixing COVID-19 vaccines showed that receiving a booster shot of CanSino Bio's vaccine after one or two doses of Sinovac Biotech's vaccine yielded a much stronger antibody response than using the Sinovac shot as a booster.
The National Center for Infectious Diseases has also announced that mixing different coronavirus vaccine booster shots can help in the fight against the Omicron variant, which is more transmissible than the previously dominant Delta variant.
Shanghai has reported multiple Omicron infections since early this month. In a recent case, an employee at the Pudong International Airport was confirmed with the highly infectious Omicron variant on Monday.
Staff at the highly automated vaccine factory in Baoshan District.
The gigafactory, jointly developed by Shanghai Pharmaceuticals and CanSino Bio, can produce 200 million shots of the COVID-19 vaccines annually.
The single-dose vaccine from CanSino Biologics – called Convidecia – is the only one-shot COVID-19 vaccine authorized in China.
Editor: Cai Wenjun