China is off the beaten track in the race for coronavirus vaccines

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While Chinese companies are also looking beyond their borders to test the vaccine, they face distrust and skepticism. Health experts have asked why the Canadian government allows CanSino Biologics, which has partnered with the People’s Liberation Army, to conduct human trials in the country. Rumors have spread about the authenticity of a vaccine made in China that is being tested in Brazil, when supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro question it.

Strategy was born out of necessity.

Chinese companies cannot find enough candidates at home to conclusively determine whether their vaccines would prevent infections, a problem faced by research institutes and pharmaceutical manufacturers in countries that have largely tamed the coronavirus. Phase 3 trials, the last step before approval, require that vaccines be tested in approximately tens of thousands of volunteers in locations where the outbreaks are large and active.

In addition to testing by the oil company, Sinopharm, which has completed phase 2 trials for two products, injected the president and other senior officials with the vaccine, according to the State Commission for Supervision and Administration of assets (SASAC), the government. agency managing all employees of public enterprises. The Chinese government has authorized the distribution of the CanSino-military vaccine to its armed forces, a first for soldiers from all countries.

Yang Zhanqiu, a virologist at Wuhan University, was skeptical about the decision to give vaccines to state employees for business trips.

“It doesn’t make much sense at all because the time that employees take to travel is not the same, the locations can be different and it is not easy to track and monitor,” said said Dr. Yang. “It may just be psychological comfort for the employees.”

A foreign-based PetroChina employee confirmed that colleagues in China have been asked to take the vaccines. PetroChina, SASAC and Sinopharm did not respond to requests for comment.

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