Chinese pharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics said it was in a “trial production stageof its Omicron-targeted mRNA booster, in a social media post released Friday.
That announcement followed a deposit with the Hong Kong stock exchange, where CanSino reported “positive” data from a test of its Omicron booster. The pharmaceutical company reported it his booster generated between 23 and 29 times more antibodies against BA.5. COVID strain as a vaccine based on an inactivated virus (such as Sinovac shots and sinopharmboth widely used in China).
In its filing, CanSino warned that it may not be able to develop or commercialize its mRNA vaccine. CanSino did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Health experts outside of China argue that the country’s lack of mRNA vaccines is a major obstacle to bringing the COVID epidemic under control. “The effectiveness of vaccines produced in China is not level of vaccines that have been used in the United States,” recently retired White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci told the newspaper. Washington Post in early December.
“Practice has shown that vaccines in our country are safe and effective,” the spokesman for the National Health Commission he told foreign ambassadors on Friday, going on to say that Chinese vaccines could “protect the health of the Chinese people and people in some other countries.”
China has yet to approve any mRNA vaccines for widespread use in the country. The only people in mainland China who can receive mRNA injections are German citizens, who can get BioNTech’s vaccine under a deal agreed between Beijing and Berlin. (In September, Indonesia approved an mRNA vaccine from Walvax Biotechnology by becoming the first country approve an mRNA injection developed in China, ahead of Beijing)
Mainland Chinese are booking vaccine appointments in semi-autonomous cities of Hong Kong And Macau, which offer both of BioNTech’s vaccines, including the company’s newest Omicron booster. Hong Kong residents flocked to vaccination centers over the weekend in an attempt to be beaten ahead of a scheduled reopening of the border between Hong Kong and mainland China on Sunday, reports Bloomberg.
Studies report that mRNA vaccines are more effective at preventing infection, serious illness and death than the inactivated vaccines used by China. Research of the University of Hong Kong found that two doses of Sinovac were only 77.4% in preventing deaths from Omicron in people over the age of 60. Two doses of BioNTech were 92.3% effective against death. (Three doses of both vaccines close the effectiveness gap, with three doses of Sinovac or BioNTech preventing 98 percent of deaths.)
China could face up to 2.5 million cases and more than 16,500 deaths a day, according to a model by the British research firm Airfinity. In late December, a health official estimated that 37 million people he could have contracted COVID in just one day. Yet cases in major Chinese cities may already be peaking, as subway traffic resumes from the lows in late December when people feel fine or safe enough to go back to work.