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Chinese vaccines can tackle major variants despite faster virus transmission
Published on: 2021-06-01
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Since the beginning of May, China has reported 50 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and found new silent carriers for 18 consecutive days, showing a faster transmission speed and a strong virus strain, while Chinese-made vaccines can tackle the different virus variants so far, officials from China's top health authority and CDC said on Monday.

The current outbreaks showed faster transmission speed and a contagious virus strain, Mi Feng, spokesperson of the National Health Commission, told a press conference on Monday.

Shenzhen, a city in South China's Guangdong Province, reported that the latest individual cases are related to mutated strains first found in the UK, while Guangzhou, the capital city of the province, is in a race against mutated virus strains first found in India. The 11 confirmed cases in Shenzhen were reported to belong to the mutated strain B117, and among those cases, six are related to global shipping work.

The wave of new cases in Guangdong, propelled by mutated virus from overseas, has a much stronger transmission, becoming new challenges for our current anti-epidemic work, Feng Zijian, Deputy Director-General of China's CDC, told the press conference. "This requires us to take very rigorous measures and adjust various policies if it's necessary," he said.

In fending off the risks of a resurgence of the outbreak and imported cases, China has been accelerating its mass vaccination drive over the past month. As of Sunday, the country has administered over 639.2 million doses, and since May, the average inoculation rate reached about 12.47 million doses per day, a 258 percent increase from that in April, Mi said, and the highest daily inoculation reached 20 million doses, he added.

On whether Chinese-made vaccines can help fend off imported variants, Zhang Yuntao, vice president of China National Biotec Group, affiliated to China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), said at the conference that the based on the company's Phase III clinical trials overseas, the company has carried out research on the strains found in South Africa and the UK, in addition to strains found in different regions in China. After comprehensive tests, the results showed the vaccines can provide good protection.

Virus mutation is constant and natural, Zhang said, noting that as long as the virus mutation is kept under control, the vaccines can provide good protection, considering the current situation. Meanwhile, Chinese companies are also well prepared to tackle major mutations with the development of new vaccines, he added.

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