China coronavirus vaccine may be ready for public in November
Coronavirus vaccines being developed in China may be ready for use by the general public as early as November, an official with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Phase 3 clinical trials were proceeding smoothly and the vaccines could be ready for the general public in November or December, CDC chief biosafety expert Wu Guizhen told state TV late on Monday.
Wu, who said she has experienced no abnormal symptoms in recent months after taking an experimental vaccine herself in April, did not specify which vaccines she was referring to.
China has four COVID-19 vaccines in the final stage of clinical trials. At least three of those have already been offered to essential workers under an emergency use program launched in July.
A unit of state pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and US-listed Sinovac Biotech are developing the three vaccines under the state’s emergency use program.
Representatives of the firms said that they hope their vaccines will be approved after phase 3 trials as early as year-end. A Sinovac spokesman said this month that 90 percent of its employees and their families — between 2,000 and 3,000 people — had voluntarily taken its vaccine.
A fourth COVID-19 vaccine being developed by CanSino Biologics was approved for use by the Chinese military in June.
Global vaccine makers are racing to develop an effective vaccine against the virus which has killed more than 925,000 people.
There are currently nine vaccine candidates in late-stage human trials, although some have hit recent obstacles — pharma giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University momentarily paused clinical trials last week after a volunteer developed an unexplained illness.
Leading vaccine makers pledged earlier this month to uphold scientific study standards and reject any political pressure to rush the process.