China’s COVID-19 vaccine induces immune response, found to be safe

Brazil to receive first doses of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

Sinovac Biotech's experimental COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac triggered a quick immune response but the level of antibodies produced was lower than in people who had recovered from the disease, preliminary trial results showed on Wednesday. But a spokesperson for the journal told BusinessLine, the Oxford vaccine candidate's published details were peer-reviewed, as compared to announcements from pharma companies.

Separately, Pfizer's chief executive Albert Bourla said on Tuesday that the firm plans to submit its vaccine data to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency-use authorisation. The first vaccines to get the provisional green light in the USA are nearly certain to be made available under this process, known as emergency use authorization.

J&J started mid-stage phase II trials in Spain and other countries in September and launched a late-stage trial in Britain on Monday.

AstraZeneca shares were little changed in London trading after rising as much as 1.7 per cent earlier Thursday.

"But we know that they tend to have poorer vaccine responses".

Pfizer is expected to seek US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for its vaccine Friday. Moderna's vaccine appears equally effective.

"We were pleased to see that our vaccine was not only well-tolerated in older adults; it also stimulated similar immune responses to those seen in younger volunteers". Older patients have been hardest hit by the pandemic, with the vast majority of deaths occurring in those over 60. "In the longer term, when the risk of COVID-19 is lower, our findings suggest that giving two doses with a one-month interval, rather than a two-week interval, might be more appropriate for inducing stronger and potentially longer-lasting immune responses", Zhu added. Citing the limitations of the research, the scientists said the phase 2 trial did not assess T cell responses, which are another arm of the immune response to virus infections.

Older people face a "significant risk" of developing severe illness on contracting Covid-19, the World Health Organization has said, citing decreased immune function and potential underlying health conditions. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed infections, also rose to 14 from 10 a day earlier.

Cané said that Pfizer had supply agreements in Chile, Mexico and Peru and that there were several other conversations ongoing, including in Argentina, where the government has said it could receive 750,000 doses of the vaccine by December. "We have to protect the progress we've made and the anti-vaccination movement is a threat to that progress".