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China's recombinant protein vaccine to aid global fight against COVID-19: Expert

Xinhua|Updated: 2021-03-08

BEIJING -- China's homegrown recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine, recently approved for use in Uzbekistan, is expected to be another "powerful weapon" in fighting the global pandemic, a senior Chinese CDC official has said.

The vaccine has a relatively simple production process, a high output and is easy to store and transport due to its relatively low storage requirements, said Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the country's top political advisory body.

The recombinant protein vaccine, jointly developed by the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical Co Ltd, is the third type of COVID-19 vaccine that China has provided to other countries, following inactivated vaccines and adenovirus vector vaccines, said Gao, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The new vaccine will help increase the global capacity of COVID-19 vaccines, Gao said, adding that in laboratory tests, it can produce neutralizing antibodies for mutant COVID-19 strains found in South Africa, Britain and Brazil.

"But further clinical trials are needed to test its efficacy against the new variants," he said.

Gao said he hoped the vaccine can be certified in more countries to help them achieve herd immunity and win the anti-pandemic fight.

According to Gao, China has adopted five technological approaches to developing COVID-19 vaccines -- inactivated vaccines, recombinant protein vaccines, adenovirus vector vaccines, nucleic acid vaccines, and vaccines using attenuated influenza viruses as vectors. Among them, the first three have been approved for use.