China is about to produce an mRNA vaccine

China will mass-produce a domestic Covid-19 vaccine using mRNA technology next month, which is better described than the vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna.

Chinese media on September 8 reported that the Covid-19 vaccine ARCoVax, using mRNA technology jointly developed by the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences with two domestic biotechnology firms, Abogen and Walvax, will be mass production at the factory in Yuxi City, Yunnan Province, next month.

Students receive a Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Shanghai, China, on September 5.  Photo: Reuters.

Students receive a Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Shanghai, China, on September 5. Photo: Reuters.

With an investment of 520 million yuan ($80 million), China’s first mRNA vaccine production facility is capable of producing 200 million doses per year. The cost of preserving ARCoVax is lower than that of foreign vaccines because it only includes a single dose, can be stored at room temperature for a week, or longer at 4 degrees Celsius.

In addition, Chinese media reported that compared with mRNA vaccines developed by the US and Germany, ARCoVax is much safer because of more accurate antigen selection, and helps to produce a higher amount of neutralizing antibodies. ARCoVax has been licensed for late-stage clinical trials in Mexico and Indonesia.

Chinese experts assess that these factors make ARCoVax superior to Covid-19 vaccines using mRNA technology manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which requires much lower storage temperatures and more stringent temperature control. The core raw materials and equipment for the vaccine are also made in China.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on September 9 also confirmed that domestic vaccine companies have begun research and development on how to make their vaccines better respond to worrying strains such as Delta. or Beta.

An immunologist in Beijing has assessed that the first mRNA vaccine will help boost the Covid-19 mass vaccination campaign in China, with the possibility of the country using it as a booster shot.

Luster (Follow Global Times)

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