China has publicly presented its homegrown covid-19 vaccines for the first time, as the country where the virus was first discovered, looks to shape the narrative surrounding the pandemic.
A lot of high hopes hang on the vaccine candidates produced by Chinese companies, Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm which are on display at a Beijing trade fair this week.
Although none of these vaccine candidates has hit the market, the drugmakers hope that they will be approved after all-important phase 3 trials as early as the end of 2020.
A Sinovac representative revealed that his company has already completed the construction of a vaccine factory which will be able to produce 300 million doses of the vaccine annually. This is just as people at the trade fair on Monday, crowded around booths showing the potential game-changing vaccines.
The Chinese state media and officials are making attempts to show the progress on domestic vaccines as a sign of Chinese leadership and resilience in the face of an unprecedented health threat that has pummeled the global economy.
The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, in May, pledged to make any potential vaccine developed by China, a global public good.
These potential Chinese vaccines on display, are among the about 10 vaccine candidates globally, to enter the final phase of the trials ahead of regulatory approval.
Sinopharm said that it expects the antibodies from its jab to last between 1 and 3 years, although the final result will only be made available after the trials.
A Chinese media outfit had last month reported that the price of the vaccines will not be high. The report quoted the Sinopharm’s Chairman as saying that every 2 doses of its vaccine should cost below $146, while also telling the media that he has already been injected with one of the candidate vaccines.
China’s official Xinhua news agency reported Monday that another vaccine candidate which is being developed by Chinese military scientists can deal with mutations in the coronavirus.
As of last month, about 5.7 billion doses of the vaccines under development around the world had been pre-ordered.
However, the World Health Organization has warned that widespread immunization against Covid-19 may not be on the cards until the middle of next year.