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China’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate approved for military use

Published on 29/06/20 at 10:55am
Photo by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

China’s military have received approval to use a new vaccine candidate for coronavirus after clinical trials proved it was safe and showed some efficacy.

CanSino Biologics’ Ad5-nCoV is one of eight vaccine candidates in China approved for human trials for the treatment of respiratory diseases caused by COVID-19. China’s Central Military Commission approved the vaccines use on 25 June for one year, and it can only be used by essential service workers and the military. It had been developed in collaboration with China’s Academy of Military Science.

The Phase 1 and 2 trials of the vaccine showed it had the potential to prevent diseases caused by the virus, and in a statement, CanSino said: “The Ad5-nCoV is currently limited to military use only and its use cannot be expanded to a broader vaccination range without the approval of the Logistics Support Department.”

The Ad5-nCoV candidate uses an adenovirus-based viral vector vaccine platform, the same technology used in the company’s Ebola vaccine which was the first approved in the world. The Phase 1 trial has been conducted on healthy adults between 18 and 60 in Wuhan.

There have now been 83,512 cases of the virus in China, with 4,634 deaths according to official figures. Across the world there have been 10 million cases with over 500,000 deaths, with the wide availability of a vaccine still not expected until, at the earliest, late this year.

Conor Kavanagh

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