China Says Research On Covid-19 Vaccine Going Well, Applications On The Way For Clinical Trials

Since the Covid-19 outbreak started spreading rapidly, scientists and researchers have been scrambling to find a vaccine.

China’s health authorities have since revealed that their research is “well underway”, reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

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Available for emergency use, possibly clinical trials in April

Zheng Zhongwei, the director of China’s National Health Commission’s Science and Technology Development Centre, also revealed some good news for patients — some vaccines will be available for emergency use by April.

Another central government official, who belongs to the team overseeing the coronavirus containment in Hubei province, said they will start applying for clinical trials of some of the vaccines next month.

There are 8 institutions in China working on the development of the vaccines, according to 5 technical routes, and all of the approaches were “advancing steadily”, the China Daily reported Zheng as saying.

President Xi learning about the progress of research for a vaccine
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Many of the routes have since started testing the vaccines on animals.

China’s progress not lagging behind other countries

Zheng said that China’s progress is on par with, or even ahead of, those in other countries, as the institutions have worked together to accelerate the research, with cost not a concern.

Special funds have been set up for the research, and commitments to set up a future vaccine reserve mechanism are well underway, he added. The China Daily also quoted him as saying:

Our goal is to make sure the vaccine against the novel coronavirus can be put into use as soon as possible, based on the premise of ensuring its safety and effectiveness.

However, he cautioned that researchers might still face difficulties, since China does not have all the information on Covid-19 yet.

At least a year before a Covid-19 vaccine will be widely available

In the United States, research on vaccines is also ongoing, according to ABC News.

In fact, a recent test on the National Institutes of Health’s experimental vaccine turned out well. Another pharmaceutical company also wants to start its safety tests in April.

However, successful tests are just a small part of developing vaccines.

Even if initial tests go well, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said it would take one to one and a half years before any vaccine can be available for widespread use.

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Hope researchers can find a viable vaccine soon

If China’s claims are true, researchers seem to be on the right track to finding a vaccine for Covid-19.

When they will be ready is still a mystery for now, as the virus continues to instil fear around the world.

Let’s hope the research will come to fruition soon, so patients can have some hope for a faster recovery.

Featured image adapted from National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China.