Candidate Sinopharm could be ready for production in December at a cost of $ 144 for two doses. Officials at the Chinese biopharmaceutical company plan to conduct the final phase of clinical trials in the United Arab Emirates, where 15,000 volunteers will be recruited.
Preliminary clinical trials have shown that the inactivated vaccine variant requires two or three doses of the vaccine to be effective – it has triggered immune responses and has not been shown to have dangerous side effects. However, it is not known to what extent it can prevent the new coronavirus from contracting.
Inactivated vaccines that use the entire dead virus have been used against diseases such as the flu and measles, but are less potent than live strain vaccines, so more doses are needed.
The vaccine was developed in collaboration with the Wuhan Institute of Organic Products and the Beijing Institute of Organic Products, respectively.
Sinopharm Group chairman Liu Jingzhen said the vaccine would be registered after the final phase of international clinical trials was completed and would be available in December, “according to our estimates.”
“Personally, I received two doses of the vaccine, there were no side effects. Its price will not be too high – around a few hundred yuan. Two injections will cost 1,000 yuan (about $ 144). Two doses will most likely be recommended, as only one provides only 97% protection. But two can increase it to 100% “, he explained quoted by Guangming Ribao.
He also said that usually the interval between the two doses is 28 days, but “in exceptional cases they can be done at once, one in the left arm, the other in the right. One dose means 4 micrograms of vaccine. ”
He said the two institutes involved in vaccine development could jointly produce about 220 million doses a year, a limited capacity given China’s population.
The results of the initial clinical trials of the vaccine were published Aug. 13 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and are based on data from 320 healthy adults. The vaccine has not been shown to have any dangerous side effects, but its effectiveness in preventing infection with the new coronavirus is unknown at this time.
The Chinese company admitted in an online post that 30 of its employees, including management staff, helped pre-test the vaccine in March, before obtaining approval for the first clinical trials.
The vaccine entered an advanced stage of testing in June – involving studies on several thousand volunteers.
Sinopharm is testing the vaccine on 15,000 volunteers in the United Arab Emirates – as about 200 nationalities live here, and this ensures a high coverage of the vaccine on several populations.
Volunteers between the ages of 18 and 60 will be immunized and will receive two doses three weeks apart. These will then be monitored for one year.
Russia became the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of clinical trials.
Another Chinese vaccine candidate, developed by CanSino Biologics, was patented on August 11 and approved for use by military personnel.
Six vaccines are currently in advanced clinical trials.