China’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate proves safe in initial tests – world news


Researchers in China have confirmed that BBIBP-CorV, a vaccine currently under human trial observation, has safely triggered the expected antibody immune responses.

The combined early and mid-stage trials for the vaccine happened between April 29 and July 30 this year.

Beijing Institute of Biological Products, a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (CNBG), is currently developing the vaccine. It is one of ten potential vaccine candidates that have entered the Phase III trials around the world. Chinese scientists are currently leading the research in four such vaccine development programs, as confirmed by the World Health Organization.

Based on a report by news agency Reuters, a paper published in the Lancet, a medical journal, has proved that the vaccine is initially safe. However, anticipated adverse effects such as mild fever, pain localized to the regions of injection were commonly observed in candidates.

The vaccine is currently under Phase 3 trials in places outside China. Meanwhile the government has recently approved the vaccine on a conditional basis for emergency inoculation for essential workers and high infection risk groups in the country.

Nearly 600 healthy individuals of varying age groups participated in the study. When two injections of three different dosages were administered, the expected antibody reactions were triggered in all individuals, as published in the paper.

Two key findings from the trial were mentioned in the study. Researchers from CNBG and the Chinese Disease Control Authorities have said that there is no sufficient data to support the fact that the vaccine can evidently cure the Coronavirus.

Also, while the vaccine did trigger antibody responses, observations about cell-based immune response were not mentioned. Thus the scientists could not assure on the potency of the vaccine in fighting the coronavirus.

Participants aged 60 and above were also found to be slower in developing antibody responses and multiplying them, than people of younger age groups.

Another subsidiary of the CNBG, is in the process of developing a similar vaccine, which is also under Phase 3 trials. An official from the CNBG has mentioned that both the vaccines could be approved for emergency usage among the general public in China, before the end of the year.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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