State Council's interagency task force briefing on promoting COVID-19 vaccination

The State Council's interagency task force held a press conference on Monday in Beijing to brief the media about issues on promoting COVID-19 vaccination. March 19, 2021

South China Morning Post:

We know that there is demand for Chinese vaccines in many countries and that China itself has to build up an immunization barrier for its own entire population, so is there a priority? How do you balance the demand for vaccines at home and abroad?

Tian Yulong: 

Vaccine is an important field of current anti-epidemic cooperation in international community. We can see from the news that while prioritizing meeting domestic demand, China has taken practical actions to implement President Xi Jinping's announcement about making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good. We have actively promoted international cooperation on vaccine and won recognition from the international community. 

At the end of February, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released information that China had been providing vaccine aid to more than 50 countries and exporting jabs to 27 countries. As China's vaccines become more and more popular, we believe that more countries will accept them. China's production capacity will continue to be released and output will continue to expand, and so will our supply both at home and abroad. While ensuring that domestic needs are met, we will keep increasing our assistance and exports to other countries and jointly fight against the epidemic. We are confident that China's high-quality, safe vaccines will be welcomed by more countries and we are willing to make more efforts in this regard. Thank you. 

China Media Group:

Currently, China has approved four types of COVID-19 vaccines for market launch. What are their differences, and the advantages and weaknesses of each? 

Li Bin: 

This question goes to Mr. Wang. 

Wang Junzhi: 

The four categories of COVID-19 vaccines are developed through two approaches. The difference is that three of them are inactivated vaccines and one is an adenovirus vaccine. The inactivated vaccine uses physicochemical methods to inactivate the live virus after its activation and expansion and then purify it. The vaccine's character is that its component is the most similar to the structure of the natural virus. Therefore, it gives a strong immune response and safety is ensured. The vaccine is stable to be stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius for two to three years, and is easy to be transported, which is convenient for people in remote areas. This vaccine requires two shots. As for the adenovirus vaccine, we take Ad5 as the vector, introduce COVID-19 antigens, and then make viral vector vaccines with bioreactors. This production technology is relatively easy and the cost is low, because it was based on our original Ad5 Ebola vaccine. This type of vaccine can not only generate neutralizing antibodies but also improve cellular immunity, using a one-dose immunization procedure. The one-dose immunization is really convenient for specific populations with emergency needs.

No matter what approaches we take, the most important thing is to adjust to the features of the antigens and pathogens, and use the most suitable technology to develop safe, effective and quality-controlled vaccines. That is the most crucial criterion for vaccines to work. Thank you. 

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