COVID-19 mutations no problem for vaccine candidates, experts say - (China Daily via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Chinese experts say the SARS-CoV-2 genome is generally stable across the globe and current mutations of the virus will not affect the potency or development of vaccine candidates, reported China Daily.

  • Yang Sheng, deputy director of the bureau of drug registration at the National Medical Products Administration, said that all four Chinese vaccines currently in Phase III trials -- three inactivated vaccines and one recombinant adenovirus vector vaccine -- are being tested overseas with approval from foreign health authorities.

  • Zhang Xinmin, head of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development, said "the virus' mutations have no real impact on vaccine development."

  • This is due to most vaccine candidates using the genetic material for the virus' spike protein to provoke an immune response, and that ingredient is very stable, he explained.

  • At year's end, China is expected to have the ability to produce around 610 million doses of COVID-19 yearly, and the annual production capability is expected to reach 1 billion doses next year, said Zheng Zhongwei, head of China's COVID-19 vaccine development task force.

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