Govt vows prompt release of information on Chinese vaccines

2020-12-20 12:00:48

Zheng Zhongwei, director of the Development Center for Medical Science and Technology of the National Health Commission [Photo/scio.gov.cn] China will promptly release information regarding the status of its COVID-19 vaccine candidates, five of which are in phase three clinical trials overseas, said Zheng Zhongwei, director of the Development Center for Medical Science and Technology of the National Health Commission. Currently, some of the vaccine candidates in late stage human trials have enlisted enough recipients to meet the middle stage progress of the trials. Vaccine developers are also keeping the National Medical Products Administration updated on their status, he said. After the trials are completed, if the vaccine's performance meets the required standards, the administration will approve it for market use. The roll out of vaccines will be swift because China is prepared to mass produce them, he said. According to the World Health Organization, China is one of the world leaders in COVID-19 development both in terms of the total number of vaccines in clinical trials and the number of vaccines in late stage human trials, Zheng said during a news conference hosted by the State Council Information Office. China's five vaccine candidates in phase three clinical trials are three inactivated vaccines, an adenovirus vector vaccine and a recombinant protein vaccine. Due to China's strong prevention and control measures against COVID-19, the country is no longer suitable to conduct phase three clinical trials, hence these trials must be done overseas, he added. However, the countries where Chinese vaccine candidates are being tested are not places where the COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious, therefore it may take more time to enroll the necessary number of volunteers for the trials, he said. In regards to the price of the vaccine, Zheng said this will depend on the company. But the COVID-19 vaccine is a public good, so the final price will consider its cost, and it is subjected to change as production and roll out ramps up.