Coronavirus outbreak: China approves third COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: 26 April, 2020 07:44 IST | Agencies | Beijing

A Chinese research firm attached to the military has become the first organisation to enter the second clinical-trial stage in the race

People wearing face masks walk along a street in Wuhan amid pandemic concerns. Pic/AFP
People wearing face masks walk along a street in Wuhan amid pandemic concerns. Pic/AFP

China has approved its third Coronavirus vaccine for the second phase of clinical trials as it reported 12 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of infections in the country to 82,816. The approved vaccine also includes one developed by Chinese military, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) for clinical trials. An "inactivated" vaccine developed by Wuhan Institute of Biological Products under the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) started its clinical trials, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The inactivated vaccine consists of virus particles, bacteria, or other pathogens that have been grown in culture and then lose disease producing capacity. In contrast, live vaccines use pathogens that are still alive. WIV has been in the eye of the storm in recent weeks as US President Donald Trump and top American officials alleged that the Coronavirus may have escaped from there and demanded a probe into it. An official of the WIV denied it, terming the allegation "entirely based on speculation".

A total of 96 persons in three age groups have received the vaccine in the first phase of clinical trial as of April 23. The vaccine has shown good safety results so far and vaccine receivers are still under observation, said the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.

72 therapeutics trial underway, 211 in planning stages in the US

A top Trump administration health official has said that as many as 19 therapeutics trial are underway and 211 in planning stages in a bid to find the cure for Coronavirus. "We are leaving no stone unturned to find the antidote for Coronavirus... We don't have any approved therapeutics for the virus but we are actively involved with the academic, commercial and private sector to find it," FDA commissioner Stephen M Hahn told reporters at a White House news conference.

"Seventy-two trials of therapeutics are underway in the United States under FDA oversight and 211 are in the planning stages, so we expect to see more. This includes convalescent plasma as well as antiviral therapies," Hahn added. According to Hahn, work is continuing on finding a vaccine. FDA has authorised two firms on vaccine trials. Hahn said that the FDA has told manufacturers that in order to market anti-body tests in the US, they have to validate their tests.

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First Published: 26 April, 2020 07:19 IST

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