China's COVID-19 vaccines may be ready for the general public's use by November this year, said country's chief biosafety expert Guizhen Wu. During an interview with state-run TV on September 14, Wu said that coronavirus vaccines are on Phase 3 of clinical trials and if everything goes well they may be ready by November or December this year. China has developed four vaccines, all of which are in the final stage of the clinical trials, according to health authorities in the country.
China has even inoculated its medical workers with one of the four vaccines being tested in the country, as per local media reports. The medical workers were given the vaccine under the emergency use programme launched in July. Wu, during the interview, also said that she has taken the vaccine herself and so far hasn't experienced any adverse effects from it. Wu, who is an official with China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), did not specify which vaccine she took.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) in June had approved the use of a COVID-19 vaccine that it had developed in association with Chinese pharmaceutical firm CanSino Biologics. The vaccine was approved for the military even before it could go through Phase III clinical trials. The other three vaccines in China have been developed by the state-owned National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and private company Sinovac Biotech.
Meanwhile, there are currently more than 110 COVID-19 vaccines being developed across the world, which are in various stages of development. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the most advanced candidate among these was AstraZeneca's AZD1222, which it was developing in partnership with Oxford University. The vaccine, however, suffered a set back last week after the makers had to stop trials because a volunteer fell ill. The trials have resumed again with a hope that it will be ready by the end of 2020 or by January next year.