In May, President Xi Jinping pledged at the World Health Assembly that once China develops safe and viable COVID-19 vaccines, it will make them a global public good. Four months later, China's State Council is reporting satisfactory progress on 11 vaccine candidates.
A senior official with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, Wu Yuanbin, said on Sept 25 China has registered good results on the safety and efficiency of vaccines in the phase one and two clinical trials. He added that China is among the countries leading in COVID-19 vaccine research and development.
"Eleven vaccine candidates are under clinical trial, and four of them are in phase three trials. Chinese companies are working with related organizations in other countries, including those in the Middle East, South America, and Southeast Asia."
The ministry says the trials are going well, but it's still uncertain when the vaccines will be in the market. It has also outlined how the vaccines will be distributed when ready.
"The first group of people are the high-risk group, such as frontline medical workers, and those working in the sea ports. The second is the vulnerable group, such as the seniors and children. And the third one is the general population. When we allocate vaccines, we will meet their needs according to those groups," says Zheng Zhongwei, Director of the Development Center of Medical Science and Technology with China's National Health Commission.
The ministry says that since the vaccines are considered public goods, they will be affordable in China.
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