Health

CEO of China’s Sinovac: Covid vaccine ready for mass use by early 2021

Beijing, Sep 24 (efe-epa).- A Covid-19 vaccine currently in the advanced stages of testing will be ready for mass public use by early next year, the president of Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech said Thursday.

Yin Weidong told Efe and other media on a tour of Sinovac’s laboratories and factory in Beijing that the company had the capacity to produce 300 million doses of the vaccine, called CoronaVac, each year.

Sinovac began constructing a specialized research laboratory for Covid-19 immunization in March and has been producing the potential future vaccine for several weeks.

Yin said researchers explored seven different methods of vaccination and found that the use of the “inactivated vaccine” had proven to be the most effective.

He said that phase III testing in subjects over 18-years-old had not shown any side-effects and that the vaccine was capable of immunizing all the variations of SARS-Cov-2 in the world.

CoronaVac is also being tested in Brazil, Turkey, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

“It’s better to do the tests outside of the country because in China the pandemic is practically under control and it will be difficult to prove its effectiveness here,” Yin said.

He added that the company was studying the possibility of expanding CoronaVac’s overseas testing.

In a 9 September statement, Sinovac said that phase I/II testing on adults over 60 had shown “good safety and immunogenicity which is comparable to the result in healthy adults aged from 18 to 59 in the earlier studies.”

The company added that antibody levels detected in those over 60 were slightly below the number of antibodies produced by younger test subjects.

One of the main objectives for the company is to ensure the vaccine is safe for the entire population, including young children and adolescents, who are exposed to outbreaks of Covid-19 in schools.

The Sinovac vaccine, which is being produced in Latin America in collaboration with Brazilian company Butantan, is in the final stages of clinical trials in Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey.

Brazil has pre-ordered 46 million doses of any eventual CoronaVac vaccine this year and another 16 million in 2021.

Some 90 percent of Sinovac’s employees and their families have received a dose of Coronavac, according to the company.

Four Chinese vaccine research projects are in phase III of clinical trials. EFE-EPA

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