The vaccine, known as Ad5-nCoV, was jointly developed by the Beijing Biotechnology Institute – part of the Chinese government’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences – and the vaccine company CanSino Biologics.
In a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Monday, CanSino announced that the Central Military Commission of China had granted the vaccine “approval of drugs specially needed for the military” on June 25. The special authorization will last one year and will only apply to the military. staff.
China has repeatedly insisted that its armed forces are not affected by the pandemic, with officials saying that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has not recorded any cases of coronavirus.
American observers have, however, disputed these claims, noting that the PLA is one of the largest standing armies in the world, making it statistically unlikely that its personnel were exposed to the virus.
Neither the Chinese government nor CanSino has said how widely the vaccine will be distributed, which units will be selected, or whether it will be mandatory or voluntary for staff.
CNN asked CanSino to comment on the ad.
According to a CanSino statement, clinical trials of the new vaccine have shown a “good safety profile”, the first results indicating that Ad5-nCoV has the potential to prevent diseases caused by SARS-CoV-2. Coronavirus strain that causes Covid-19.
CanSino previously announced in May that the Canadian government is authorizing human trials of the Ad5-nCoV vaccine. “This vaccine candidate is very promising,” said Iain Stewart, president of the National Research Council of Canada at the time.
China is just one of many countries rushing to produce a vaccine against the new coronavirus, which has infected more than 10.3 million people worldwide and killed at least 505,000 people.
It’s not clear when a vaccine might be available, or even if it’s possible, but lead American infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said there was hope for a drug. by the end of 2020. No vaccine has yet been approved for commercial distribution.
Currently, at least 17 vaccines are under clinical evaluation worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, eight of which are under development in China.
According to the CanSino press release, the first and second phases of their Ad5-nCoV vaccine trials have already been completed.
The previous results of the Ad5-nCoV trials, published in the medical journal The Lancet, were welcomed by lukewarm experts. According to the study, almost half of the recipients of the Ad5-nCoV vaccine reported fever, 44% reporting fatigue and 39% reporting a headache. Overall, 9% of patients described side effects serious enough to have potentially “prevented activity”.
Speaking to the Chinese tabloid Global Times, Li Daguang, a professor at the National Defense University of the People’s Liberation Army, said that authorities had followed “normal procedures” to approve the drug for any purpose. military and that its special status would change the future. development or marketing.