China plans to conduct tests of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in foreign countries severely hit by the pandemic if the ongoing trials in Wuhan, the first epicentre of the outbreak, prove safe and effective. According to a state-run China Daily, the Chinese researcher Chen Wei said that the first stage trial of the vaccine has been going smoothly and the results will be published in April.
“If the initial results prove the vaccine is safe and produces (desired) effects, we will continue to test its effectiveness overseas through international cooperation if the global epidemic continues to spread,” said Chen Wei in a statement.
Researchers across the globe are racing to develop the vaccine to prevent coronavirus infection. Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has already launched tests of a potential vaccine after developing prototypes of vaccines based on six various technological platforms.
Rospotrebnadzor said that it is necessary to carry out Vivo tests on sensitive laboratory animals. The scientists have developed the vaccine based on broadly used recombinant viral vectors of flu and tests will determine dose, frequency and methods of application.
There has been also fear of United States monopolising the vaccine after reports of US President Donald Trump wanting to get exclusive access to a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by a German biotech firm emerged. However, Germany’s Finance Minister Heiko Maas publicly denied any intention to sell the rights to coronavirus vaccine research.
Local media reports suggested that Trump had offered “a billion dollars” to secure exclusive rights over the research into a vaccine by German biotech firm CureVac. Speaking to a German media group Funke, the foreign minister said that the researchers play a leading role in drug and vaccine development and the administration cannot allow others to seek exclusive results.
The company, in a statement, abstained from commenting on “speculations” and rejected the “rumours” of acquisition saying it is focussed on the development of mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine to protect people worldwide.
(With PTI inputs | Image credit: Pixabay)