First coronavirus vaccine could be ready by September, head of China’s CDC claims
- Dr Gao Fu said China could have its first coronavirus vaccine ready by autumn
- The CDC chief added that the vaccination would be used for emergencies
- China now has three coronavirus vaccine candidates undergoing clinical trials
- It comes as British scientists have begun the first human vaccine trial in Europe
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
A Chinese official has claimed that the country’s first coronavirus vaccine could be ready in less than five months.
Dr Gao Fu, director-general of China’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, said that China expects to have a successful vaccine candidate for the deadly disease by September.
The health chief added that the vaccine would be used for emergency situations, such as a new wave of the virus outbreak.
The virologist Dr Gao Fu said that China is leading the world’s efforts to develop vaccines for the contagion. The picture shows a volunteer holding a potential vaccine in China
Dr Gao told state broadcaster CGTN on Thursday: ‘To develop a vaccine or specific drug, it always takes time.
‘Because the vaccine will be used on healthy people, you wanna make sure the vaccine you’re developing is safe and efficient.’
The virologist also said that China is leading the world’s efforts to develop vaccines for the contagion.
‘Maybe by September, we might have a vaccine to be used for emergencies. For example, if we have some emergency outbreak again.’
Dr Gao added that the ’emergency vaccine’, which would be in its second or third phase of clinical trials, could be used on medical workers before the general population.
‘In my opinion, maybe we will get a vaccine for healthy people early next year,’ the Chinese official stated.
Dr Gao Fu (pictured), director-general of China’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, said China could have a successful vaccine candidate for the deadly disease by September
An 84-year-old retired soldier, Xiong Zhengxing, is considered to be the world’s oldest volunteer for a potential coronavirus vaccine. He is pictured receiving the injection
The news comes as companies and researchers around the world are racing to find a cure for the contagion, which has infected more than 2.7 million people worldwide.
China currently has three vaccine candidates which have been permitted to conduct clinical trials. Two of those have moved onto their second stage of testing.
Scientists at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, have begun the first human trial in Europe by administering the trial injections, which were developed in under three months, to more than 800 volunteers on Thursday.
Sarah Gilbert, an Oxford University professor currently leading Britain’s most advanced search for a vaccine, said she was ’80 per cent confident’ her team’s development would work by autumn.
And Health Secretary Matt Hancock has insisted that Britons will be first in the queue for any successful UK-developed vaccine from the £42 million programmes.
But Downing Street is refusing to make any promises over who will benefit first from the drug due to concerns another country might produce one first.
Dr Gao added that the ’emergency vaccine’, which would be in its second or third phase of clinical trials, could be used on medical workers before the general population. Staff members are pictured transferring medical equipment at Leishenshan Hospital in Wuhan on April 14
It comes as health experts say the coronavirus is mutating at a slower rate than several other respiratory viruses, particularly the flu.
The killer bug has already mutated close to 10 times, leading many to fear an even deadlier strain is around the corner.
But scientists say the mutations do not vary much from the virus that originated in Wuhan, China, nor are they more severe.
This means once a vaccine is readily available, it would provide protection against both the original virus and mutations – and for several years.