Vaccines against the XBB variant of the COVID-19 are expected to be available soon, according to Zhong Nanshan, a top respiratory disease expert.
"Two types of vaccines that can cover the XBB variant have been initially approved, with three to four more to be approved soon," said Zhong, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, during a panel session of the Greater Bay Area Science Forum on Monday.
The forum, focusing on marine science, nanoscience, health and biomedicine, high-energy physics and advanced manufacturing and artificial intelligence — was held in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.
It is very important to develop vaccines with better protection against the XBB variants, as there has been a relatively small peak of COVID-19 infection in late April and early May, Zhong said
"We can stay ahead of the international community by researching and developing more effective vaccines," he said.
Zhong's remarks came after the World Health Organization proposed on Thursday that new vaccines should mainly target the currently dominant mutant XBB.
"New vaccines should target people, especially those with basic diseases and low immunity and the elderly," he said.