Chinese army begins trials of coronavirus vaccine among its ranks
Monday, 29 June 2020
The Chinese army has authorised the use in its ranks of a vaccine against coronavirus, developed by a military research institute and a pharmaceutical company, the company announced on Monday.
Laboratories around the world are competing to find a cure for the new coronavirus, first detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. About half of the 17 vaccines currently in clinical (i.e., human) trials are being developed by Chinese laboratories or institutes, according to information from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Among them, the Chinese company CanSinoBIO is collaborating with the Military Academy of Medical Sciences on one of the most advanced coronavirus vaccines currently available. The Central Military Commission, the institution to which the Chinese military is subject, gave its green light on 25 June to use the vaccine on the military.
“Data from clinical trials have shown a good safety profile and high levels of humoral and cellular immune response,” the company said in a statement on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where it is listed.
It was not immediately clear whether this approval would involve a vaccination campaign within the Chinese army, which has some two million members. The defence ministry did not respond to a request for comments from AFP. The company also stressed in its press release that it could not yet guarantee that its vaccine would be marketed to the general public.
According to the latest WHO count, in addition to the 17 coronavirus vaccines tested on humans, 132 others are currently in the pre-clinical evaluation phase.