Beijing’s production facility for the coronavirus vaccine has won approval from China’s national regulator and is ready to mass produce vaccines. It is associated with the China National Biotec Group (Sinopharm).
China claims this is the world’s first and largest facility of its kind, reported state-run Global Times. It has been working on an inactivated coronavirus vaccine that has passed phase I and II clinical trials.
The vaccine’s trials had shown that antibodies to the virus were generated in all participants after two doses in 28 days. Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine are going on in the UAE with 15,000 participants of over 200 nationalities enrolled. China had approved clinical trials in humans for two inactivated COVID-19 vaccines in April.
Inactivated vaccines contain pathogens such as viruses and bacteria or their particles that have been killed. After immunisation, the vaccine antigens cannot multiply in the vaccinated person or cause disease. Inactivated vaccines always require multiple doses.
The Beijing institute says it took only two months to finish building the facility on April 15. Biosafety examinations of the facility were carried out by the government in July. The facility met national standards and those set by the WHO and could start mass production of COVID-19 vaccines.
It will produce over one million doses of the inactivated vaccine.
“It is possible that China could have a COVID-19 vaccine as early as the end of October,” said Tao Lina, a Shanghai-based vaccine researcher.
Once the Beijing facility and another one in Wuhan begin operations, CNBG will have an annual capacity of 220 million doses of vaccines. These will first be given to healthcare staff and other frontline workers.
Another coronavirus vaccine produced jointly by Chinese company Fosun Pharma and German pharmaceutical group BioNTech began clinical trials on humans on August 5.