BEIJING, April 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A news report by China.org.cn on China’s recent progress on the COVID-19 vaccine:
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages, threatening countries and regions around the world, progress in developing a vaccine is definitely good news. Currently, China has commenced a Phase I clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine, with volunteers receiving it on March 16.
The principle of developing this recombinant novel coronavirus vaccine (adenovirus vector) is to “perform surgery” on the virus and develop the necessary adenovirus, which will trigger an immune response when injected into the body. This is one of five approaches in developing a vaccine that is currently underway. Once proves effective after three phases of clinical trials, the vaccine is expected to be available for the public in as little as six months’ time.
There are a few stories worth sharing about China’s first domestically developed novel coronavirus vaccine.
The vaccine is being developed by a research team led by Chen Wei, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, who has been hailed as a “virus terminator.” Having previously traveled to Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak, she developed China’s first homegrown vaccine for the virus, making China the third country to put an Ebola vaccine into clinical trials.
On Jan. 24, Chinese New Year’s Eve, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention successfully isolated the first strain of the novel coronavirus, laying the foundation for developing a vaccine. Two days later, Chen’s team rushed to the epicenter of Wuhan to carry out further research. After two months of hard work, they developed the recombinant novel coronavirus vaccine, using the same technology as was used for the Ebola vaccine.
Wuhan resident Li Ming (a pseudonym) volunteered to participate in the Phase I clinical trial. Previously, his wife was unfortunately infected with COVID-19, which led him to fear and helplessness. Now that his wife has recovered, Li wanted to give back to society by volunteering for the trial.
Another volunteer, Qin Yuanyuan, is only 19 years old. She explained that it was seeing so many young medical workers across the country fighting on the frontlines that inspired her to do her bit to help her hometown fight the epidemic.
It has been reported that Phase I of the clinical trial was designed for just 108 volunteers, but several thousand people signed up to take part.
On the battlefield against the virus, scientific researchers are competing against time and death. China’s five different approaches to developing vaccines have so far all made rapid progress. The United States started clinical trials at almost the same time as China, and the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and other countries have also been stepping up research. The ordinary people who are being protected are also bravely contributing to the fight against the epidemic.
The COVID-19 vaccine is a seed of hope for humanity, and one which is showing positive signs. In addition, these urgent efforts and strength of unity are also a hope that the world will overcome this pandemic.
Seed of hope: COVID-19 vaccine trials begin
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