China company could have COVID-19 vaccine by early next year
A Chinese pharmaceutical company said it is currently developing a coronavirus vaccine that could be ready for worldwide distribution by early 2021.
The company developing the vaccine, SinoVac, said it is to undergo its third and final round of testing on humans.
The vaccine is being given to more than 24,000 people in Brazil, Turkey, and Indonesia, as part of SinoVec’s clinical trials. The vaccines are also being given to children.
SinoVac said these countries were chosen because they all had serious outbreaks, large populations and limited research and development capacity.
If the vaccine passes this final stage of clinical trials, SinoVac said it will apply to the US Food & Drug Administration to sell ‘CoronaVac’ in the United States.
“Our goal is to provide the vaccine to the world including the US, EU, and others,” the company’s CEO, Yin Weidong said.
Historically, Chinese vaccines have been blocked by stringent regulations in the US, the European Union, Japan, and Australia.
China has been one of the biggest competitors in the global race to develop a coronavirus vaccine. It currently has 11 vaccines in clinical trials.
Globally, there are 38 vaccines in human trials; nine of which have reached the last stage of testing, according to the World Health Organisation.
China has started giving experimental vaccines to people in “high risk” professions namely frontline medical personnel, medical staff at fever clinics, and customs and border personnel.
The COVID-19 virus originated in Wuhan, China in late 2019.
It has already claimed some 999 thousand lives globally.