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China begins clinical trials of 2 possible coronavirus vaccines

Beijing / China has begun clinical trials of two possible vaccines against SARS-COV-2 coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 infection, state-owned Xinhua agency said Tuesday.

The two inactivated vaccine prototypes have been developed using pathogenic microorganisms that have been killed through the physical or chemical process.

The first prototype, which received its license Sunday to proceed with clinical trials, have been developed by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products – the city where the first infections were detected – along with China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).

The second was the result of a joint venture of several companies headed by Beijing-based firm Sinovac Research and Development Co., Ltd. The firm is a subsidiary of Sinovac Biotech which also worked on a vaccine against the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003.

According to Xinhua, the vaccines used in the clinical trial can be used for a bigger-scale vaccination, the effectiveness of which will be accepted as per international standards.

According to Chinese news site Caixin, Sinopharm – which has the finacial backing of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology – project will test 1,396 volunteers recruited in the Henan province – sitauated in the central-eastern region of the country – in two initial phases expected to continue until Nov.10, 2021.

In mid-March, Chinese authorities approved the start of the clinical trials of another vaccine against coronavirus, which was developed by Academy of Military Medical Sciences.

So far, COVID-19 has claimed at least 3,341 lives out of the 82,249 cases of infections. About 77,738 patients have been cured. (April 14, 2020, EFE/EPA/PracticaEspañol)

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