Chinese COVID Vaccine (III): What's special about Chinese vaccines?



New technologies have been used in other countries to manufacture COVID vaccines. Front-runners include Adenovirus vaccine from BARDA; viral-vector vaccines from Johnson & Johnson; as well as mRNA-based vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

So what's actually special about Chinese vaccine?

Three vaccine candidates from Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac are made from inactivated virus. This is a tried and tested approach historically among the safest and most effective vaccine development strategies.

Besides, the most significant difference between the inactivated vaccine technologies and new technology vaccines is the need to keep drugs such as Pfizer's vaccine at extremely low temperatures during storage and transport. Chinese vaccines such as the one of Sinovac is easier to roll out since it can be stored in a standard refrigerator at 2-8 degrees Celsius. It means that Sinovac is a lot more useful to developing countries which may not have required facilities to store large amounts of vaccine at such low temperatures.

Chinese vaccines are amenable to large-scale manufacture. By the end of this year, China is expected to produce at least 2 billion doses of the vaccines developed by Sinovac and Sinopharm, not only ensure the mass inoculations domestically, but also support the need of vaccination abroad.

The newly approved vaccine from Sinopharm sees 79.34% efficacy, indicating a nearly 80% reduction in disease occurrence among the vaccinated group.

In addition, Chinese vaccines are offered to all citizens for free. Both vaccines expenses and inoculation fees will be covered by medical insurance fund and government fiscal.

[ Editor: WXL]