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SARS Vaccine Approved for Human Trials

A SARS vaccine developed by a Beijing-based inspection and quarantine body is now being tested in clinical trials.

According to an official with the Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, its vaccine for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) has been approved by government authorities, and is ready for the patent application process.

"Our vaccine could be good for three years before it is injected into people," said the official on Friday, who only gave his name as Dong.

"It lasts longer than other vaccines for the epidemic," he said.

The vaccine that was invented last October could also be produced in massive amounts, he said, serving to prevent an outbreak more effectively.

At least two research institutes in China are developing SARS vaccines.

Zhong Nanshan, president of the Chinese Medical Association, said last month that scientists in Beijing would carry out trials among volunteers aged 20 to 60 to test the effectiveness of a SARS vaccine produced by a Beijing-based company.

Initial trials involving 36 volunteers at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing found antibodies against the disease developed in all volunteers, without obvious side effects.

The vaccine developed by the bureau has just completed tests on monkeys at Wuhan University in central China's Hubei Province.

Dong claimed antibodies were found in animals injected with the vaccine, without symptoms of the deadly disease.

The official refused to disclose any details about the vaccine, including when and where the trials would be carried out.

(China Daily August 6, 2005)

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