Amid biting competition to develop world's first coronavirus vaccine, China, the nation where first case of the deadly virus was reported, may also be the first country to roll out a successful inoculation.
Chinese companies Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm have now displayed their vaccine for the first time. The small vials at the 'China International Fair for Trade in Services' in Beijing this weekend invited large number of people to the booth, sometimes leading to crowding at the stalls.
If things go well, these two vaccines are expected to enter the market by the end of this year, according to the vaccine developers. If the efforts are fruitful, China will have the distiction of being the origin of the virus as well as of its vaccine.
The Covid-19 vaccine produced by China's Sinovac Biotech has entered Phase-3 trial globally. The Sinovac vaccine has been in Phase-3 clinical trials since July.
Phase-1 and 2 trials have shown the vaccine to be safe and effective without serious side effects, CGTN reported.
"After performing injections on over 1,000 volunteers, some only showed minor fatigue or discomfort, no more than 5 per cent," Yin Weidong, chairman and CEO of Sinovac Biotech, was quoted as saying.
"Fever is a major index by which we evaluate a vaccine's safety, limited to about 2 to 3 per cent. As for effectiveness, after two injections, almost all volunteers developed antibodies, around 97 to 98 per cent."
To prepare for potential mass production, the company has reportedly built a 20,000 square metre production plant.
"Our facility has been designed to produce 300 million doses annually," Yin said.
Along with Sinovac's vaccine, China has three other Covid-19 vaccine candidates that have entered Phase-3 clinical trials.
The China National Pharmaceutical Group's candidate vaccine, an inactivated type, entered Phase-3 trials in late June. The company said its facilities in Beijing and
Wuhan can produce 2.2 million doses a year.
(With IANS inputs)