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China claims that Coronavirus vaccine could be ready by April

21:07 | 15/03/2020

China has said that some vaccines for the novel coronavirus could be in clinical use next month as the number of global coronavirus cases soared past 100,000.  Zheng Zhongwei, director of the National Health Commission’s Science and Technology Development Center, expressed his hope of the vaccines would enter clinical research or be of use in emergency situation in April.

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China's National Health Commission expects the first vaccines to be in 'clinical or emergency use' next month. The picture shows China's President Xi learning about the progress on the vaccine development at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing on March 2 (Photo source: dailymail.co.uk)

According to nypost.com, Chinese officials say they’ll have a coronavirus vaccine ready next month for emergency situations and clinical trials.

Eight institutes in the country are working on five approaches to inoculations in an effort to combat COVID-19, according to the South China Morning Post. The contagious illness has sickened more than 118,000 people and killed at least 4,200 worldwide, mostly in mainland China, as of Tuesday afternoon.

“According to our estimates, we are hopeful that in April some of the vaccines will enter clinical research or be of use in emergency situations,” Zheng Zhongwei, director of the National Health Commission’s Science and Technology Development Center, said Friday.

While it would take at least 12 to 18 months to ensure the vaccines are safe for the general public, under Chinese law, they can be deployed earlier for urgent use in a major public health emergency, as long as the benefits outweigh the risks.

Zheng waved off concerns about the safety of the vaccines, saying they were being developed in ­accordance with “scientific and standardized technical requirements,” The Australian reported.

And on dailymail.co.uk's news, Mr Zheng added: 'The novel coronavirus is a new virus. We need a process to explore and understand it.

'The same applies to the development of vaccines. We need to solve problems gradually as we continue to explore and deepen [the research].'

Mr Zheng made the comments at a press conference today held by the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council of China.

The official said a special team had been set up to take the charge of the development of vaccines for the coronavirus.

In the US, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Moderna Inc. shipped its vaccine to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for testing late last month. Initial results could be released by July or August.

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