China's leading infectious disease specialist has predicted that Chinese COVID-19 vaccines will hit the market at year-end or early next year, and suggested that everybody get vaccinated if Chinese vaccines turn out to have good results in their Phase-III clinical trials, Shanghai Observer reported.
At a popular science forum held in Shanghai on Saturday, renowned Chinese infectious disease specialist Zhang Wenhong talked about the progress of Chinese vaccines in clinical trials overseas in response to recent news reports about foreign vaccines that have proved 90 percent effective in their Phase-III trials.
"Chinese vaccines have always taken the lead around the globe. Since China did a great job in preventing and controlling the epidemic, Chinese vaccines' third phase clinical trials have had to be conducted overseas. However, that doesn't mean Chinese vaccines have not made progress. As far as I know, Chinese vaccines have already applied for market launch," Zhang said at the forum.
Zhang predicted that Chinese vaccines will probably hit the market at the end of this year or early next year, while foreign vaccines will be available to Chinese residents at the end of next year.
As for which vaccine to choose, Zhang suggested waiting for more scientific data to emerge.
"If Chinese vaccines show very good results in their Phase-III clinical trials next year, I personally think people should get vaccinated … Generally speaking, I am optimistic about Chinese COVID-19 vaccines," said Zhang, who noted that Chinese vaccines are well designed and people at high risk of exposure to the virus can get vaccinated first, and eventually everybody can get vaccinated.
With regard to preventing COVID-19 this coming winter, Zhang suggested that Chinese citizens do what they did at the beginning of the year, including wearing masks, washing hands frequently and keeping social distance, Xinmin Evening News reported.
He called on people not to panic about the combined infection of COVID-19 and influenza, since it already occurred in the first outbreak and is common in winter.