As the global race to produce a covid-19 vaccine continues, China appears to be making strides, with vaccines produced by Sinovac and Sinopharm making their way abroad.
However, the final stages of training not yet completed, which raises questions about what we know about these vaccines and the difference between them and the vaccines that are being developed in other countries.
How does the Sinovac vaccine work?
Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company Sinovac is behind the coronavirus vaccine.
The vaccine works by using dead viral particles to expose the body’s immune system to the virus without risking a backlash.
The Moderna and Pfizer Vaccines, which are being developed in the West, are working with ribosomal DNA technology. This means that part of the coronavirus’s genetic code is injected into the body, prompting it to start producing viral proteins.
“The (Chinese) coronavirus vaccine is based on a more traditional method that has been successfully tested in several well-known vaccines,”associate professor Luyu Dahi of Nanyang Technological University told the BBC.
“Ribosomal DNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine and there is (currently) no successful example of the use of these vaccines among humans,”he added.
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In theory, one of the main advantages of the Sinovac vaccine is that it can be stored in an ordinary refrigerator at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, like the Oxford Vaccine, made from a genetically modified virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees.
The Moderna vaccine should be stored at -20 degrees, while the Pfizer vaccine should be stored at -70 degrees .
This means that the vaccine Sinovac vaccine Oxford-strains would be useful more for developing countries which may not be able to store large amounts of vaccine at a low temperature.
What is the degree of its effectiveness?
The degree of effectiveness of the vaccine is difficult to determine at the timecurrent. According to the scientific journal The Lancet, we have so far only obtained information from Phase I and Phase II trials of the coronavac vaccine.
Zhou Wenshi, one of the authors of the research paper, said These results – from 144 participants in the first phase of the trials and 600 participants in the second phase of the trials – mean the vaccine is “fit for emergency use.”
In September, Yin, from Sinovac, said the tests involved more than 1,000 volunteers, “some of whom showed little stress or discomfort…Not more than 5 percent.”
The company began the final phase of trials in Brazil – the world’s second-highest death toll from the epidemic-in early October. These trials were briefly halted in November after the death of a volunteer, but resumed after it became clear that the death had nothing to do with the vaccine.
Commented Professor Liu said it is difficult to comment on the effectiveness of the vaccine at this time “taking into account the limited information available.”
“Based on preliminary data…Is likely to be a vaccine Korea effective, but should wait until the results of the second phase of experiments”.
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What about the Sinopharm vaccine?
China’s state-owned company Sinopharm is developing two covid-19 vaccines, which are similar to Sinovac, and work in the same way.
Both vaccines are in Phase III trials and have already been distributed to about one million people in China under an emergency programme.
Sinopharm has not yet published Phase III trial data.
“It is customary to wait for the analysis of the third phase of trials before intensifying the vaccine program through emergency use authorization,” professor Dale Fisher, a professor at the National University of Singapore, told CNBC News.
Peru last week suspended trials of the Sinopharm vaccine as a result of a “serious adverse event” involving a volunteer and is currently investigating whether it is linked to the vaccine.
Suspending a clinical trial is not unusual. In September, the UK suspended trials of another covid-19 vaccine after a participant was suspected of showing negative symptoms, then resumed after the vaccine was ruled out as the cause.
The Coronavirus outbreak in China has been largely contained, and life is slowly returning to its “new normal.”
Are there other candidate vaccines?
At least two other vaccines are being developed in China, according to a recent report published by the conference.
Among the vaccines of Kansas invites biological Marrakech, reportedly in Phase II trials in countries including Saudi Arabia.
The other is developed by Anhui Chevy longcom. Its vaccine uses part of the virus to stimulate an immune response, and has recently entered the third phase of trials, according to the report.
Which countries have requested Chinese vaccines?
The first shipment of Sinovac vaccines arrived in Indonesia in early December in preparation for a mass vaccination campaign, and 1.8 million new doses are expected in January.
Days later, two Arab states ratified the Sinopharm vaccine.
The UAE said it had registered the vaccine after an interim analysis showed it was 86% effective in Phase III trials that began in July. The authorities did not explain how the vaccine was introduced.
Bahrain has also approved the use of Sinopharm’s covid-19 vaccine, and said that adults can register online for the vaccine for free.
Singapore said it had signed advance procurement contracts with vaccine manufacturers including Sinovac, Moderna and Pfizer – pinotech.
Sinovac is known to have also signed other contracts with Turkey, Brazil and Chile.
How will vaccines be rolled out?
Sinovac will be able to produce 300 million doses per year at its 20,000 square meter facility, the company’s president said in a statement to the English-language CGTN channel.
As with other vaccines, the individual needs to two doses, which means that this production enough for 150 million people per year.
Analysts point to China’s quest to win the race for vaccine diplomacy, which also saw Chinese President Xi Jinping pledge us مليار 2 billion to Africa, while pledging US قروض 1 billion in loans to Latin American and Caribbean countries to buy vaccines. It is not clear what terms the transaction may have involved.
“Beijing…You will invest in rolling out this life-saving technology in order to make a commercial and diplomatic profit.”
“China has something that other countries clearly need, and will seek to deliver the vaccine to the countries concerned as a charity,”he added.
The cost of the vaccine is not yet known, but a BBC team noticed earlier in the year that nurses in yuan city were selling the vaccine for 6 60.
A company in Indonesia said the vaccine would cost دولار 13.60.
This is much higher than the Oxford Vaccine, which costs دولارات 4 per dose, but less than the Moderna vaccine, which is priced at دولارا 33 per dose.
Moderna plans to ship 500 million doses abroad during 2021 while AstraZeneca said it will produce 700 million doses by the first quarter of 2021.