China's latest COVID-19 vaccine may ease high production pressure

Mar 24, 2021 09:56:08 AM


China's latest COVID-19 vaccine may ease high production pressure

(CGTN) 09:33, March 24, 2021

China's latest approved COVID-19 vaccine, cheaper and easier to be manufactured in bulk, can meet the needs of high production as the world displays severe imbalanced vaccine distribution and is seeking enough vaccines to provide access for everyone.

The country approved the ZF2001 vaccine for emergency use last week. The late-stage clinical trial has started in several countries, including Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Ecuador, Indonesia, as Uzbekistan has already approved its use earlier this month.

The vaccine is jointly developed by the Institute of Microbiology of Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS) and Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical.

Industry experts said the production for this kind of vaccine is stable and reliable, as well as ideal for making large-scale industrial production, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported. The protein subunit vaccine doesn't require high-level biological labs and factories, which can eminently reduce cost and expand China's COVID-19 vaccine production.

Shanghai vaccine expert Tao Lina said, "The vaccine has its advantage of being safe, easier for large-scale production and cheap. When the government is paying for COVID-19 vaccines, the price advantage can't be omitted," according to SCMP.

The team led by Gao Fu, who also heads the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has developed the shot, a protein subunit vaccine that is the first of its kind to be approved in the world for use against the COVID-19 virus, according to a statement on the IMCAS's website.

The adopted technique to develop the vaccine is safe and widely used in vaccines for hepatitis B, whooping cough, and flu, according to SCMP.

Compared to other COVID-19 vaccines, usually with two shots or a single shot, this new vaccine is a 3-dose vaccine with each shot inoculated between 28 days. It can also be stored and transported at fridge temperature between 2-8 degrees Celsius, easier to be used in countries lacking cold-chain logistics infrastructure.

The vaccine developed by IMCAS has completed its first and second phase clinical trials last October. The result shows there's no severe adverse reaction after vaccination.

According to Anhui Daily's report, Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical has set up a production line of 300 million doses per year, able to cover 100 million people's inoculation. There will be another six production lines built up by the end of September, adding another 600 million doses each year. 

(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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