Coronavirus: China exhibits vaccines for the first time

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BEIJING | Two Chinese pharmaceutical companies first exhibited their COVID-19 vaccine candidates at a trade fair in Beijing on Monday, as China hopes to shake off Western criticism of its early-stage handling. crisis.

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The doses produced by the companies Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm are among some of the most advanced projects in the world and have raised high expectations in China.

Visitors flocked to Beijing on Monday around the stands where they were exhibited at a trade fair. Having entered phase 3 with trials on humans, these vaccines have not yet been marketed.

But their manufacturers hope to get the green light from the authorities to put it on the market before the end of 2020.

A Sinovac official told AFP that the company had already “finished building a factory” capable of producing 300 million doses per year.

China is in the crosshairs of several Western countries, the United States in the lead, which blame it for reacting too late after the discovery of the new coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan (center) in December 2019.

The development in the country of one or more vaccines against COVID-19 would allow Beijing to counter this bad image, while the epidemic has hit the planetary economy hard since the beginning of the year.

President Xi Jinping called for making a potential vaccine designed in China a “global public good”.

The doses currently presented in Beijing are among approximately 10 vaccines in the world that have entered phase 3 of human trials. This is the last step before a possible commercialization.

According to Sinopharm, its vaccine should protect against the virus for one to three years.

The two doses needed for immunization should also cost a total of less than 1,000 yuan (124 euros), according to the president of the company, quoted by the semi-official newspaper. Global Times.

Another Chinese vaccine candidate, designed in collaboration with army scientists, will allow immunization against possible mutations in the new coronavirus, the official China New news agency also said on Monday.

No vaccine in the world has yet completed clinical trials. But at least 5.7 billion doses have already been pre-ordered from different manufacturers.

The World Health Organization (WHO), however, has warned that widespread immunization against COVID-19 may not occur until mid-2021.

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