State Council's inter-agency task force briefing on COVID-19 vaccination for key groups

The State Council's inter-agency task force held a press conference in Beijing on Saturday to brief the media about issues regarding COVID-19 vaccination among key groups of the population. December 19, 2020


How is progress on the phase III clinical trials of Chinese vaccines? When will they be available to the general public? Is there a specific timetable? Thank you. 

Zheng Zhongwei:

Thank you for your interest in the R&D progress of Chinese vaccines. As we know, following the COVID-19 outbreak, China laid out five technical routes to advance vaccine R&D. So far, all Chinese vaccines that entered clinical trials, including phase III clinical trials, are at the forefront of vaccine development, according to statistics provided by the World Health Organization. The two inactivated vaccines developed by the China National Biotec Group in affiliation with Sinopharm, and another by Sinovac Biotech were the first in the world to start phase III clinical trials. As you all know, having gotten the COVID-19 epidemic well under control, China now does not have the conditions to carry out phase III clinical trials, so the five Chinese vaccines are undergoing phase III clinical trials abroad.

The countries and regions where we are cooperating in phase III clinical trials are not, or mostly not, parts of the world reporting the highest cases. Therefore, the speed of obtaining the required cases for Phase III clinical trials is naturally not the fastest, as dictated by the laws of science. As far as the current situation is concerned, the vaccine progressing at the fastest speed has already obtained the number of cases needed for the interim test of phase III clinical trials and has recently started to provide relevant materials to the National Medical Products Administration on an ongoing basis. Relevant data will be made known to the public in a timely manner after it is released. If the data meets the corresponding standards, the National Medical Products Administration will grant for it conditional or unconditional marketing authorization accordingly. By that time, we will expand production and inoculations at a faster rate as we are already well prepared for large-scale production. Thank you.

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