Zhong Nanshan, China's top respiratory expert who discovered the SARS 2003, now plays a key role in the national COVID-19 policy. He said that it is impossible for any nation to reach herd immunity as it will cost millions of lives.

Nanshan estimates that 60% to 70% of the country's population to be infected by the virus, which can cause a 30 to 40 million death toll.

That means the only way to defeat COVID-19 is to vaccinate all people. He said that vaccines for use in emergencies would be available as early as this autumn, but it could take at least two years for large-scale use.

It is similar to what Anthony Fauci, head of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that 100 million doses of the vaccine might be ready before the year ends and the clinical trials.

Last month, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention's head, Gao Fu, said that they are already drafting guidelines to determine the individual eligible to receive the vaccine when to take them, and what qualifies an emergency use.


Low-dose and High-dose Vaccine Conferred Highly Efficient Against COVID-19 in Macaques

Presently, there are five vaccines under clinical testing in China. One of them is developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, published in its preclinical data on the journal Cell last Saturday.

According to South China Morning Post, its data indicates that the vaccine administered in the macaques, which uses an inactivated pathogen, induced high levels of antibodies that protect the body and provided high-level protection against the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The researchers administered the vaccine twice a day on day zero and day 14 of the experiment, while a placebo group was only given saline. By the end of day 24, all of the macaques are now exposed to COVID-19.

Throughout the seven-day evaluation period after immunization, they found that the placebo group maintained a high viral load. Meanwhile, swabs are taken from the vaccinated macaques, which showed a peak on viral load by the fifth day and significantly waned by the seventh day.

All animals exposed to the coronavirus were euthanized on the seventh day for pathological examination. Those macaques in the low-dose and high-dose have not shown any detectable viral load, unlike those in the placebo group.

The researchers said that the results of their study demonstrated that "both low-dose and high-dose vaccines are highly efficient in defending against SARS-CoV-2 in macaques without observed antibody-dependent enhancement of infection."

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Other Vaccines Under Development in China

Aside from the vaccine being developed under the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, its parent company, the China National Biotec Group, said that it was focusing on developing an inactivated vaccine. The company was experienced in that field, and because this type of vaccine can be safely produced, said chairman Yang Xiaoming who told the news portal Thepaper.cn.

Moreover, another subsidiary of the company, the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, is now on its human trials on using another inactivated vaccine. They have built biosafety production facilities to produce 200 million vaccines each year.

Additionally, they are also developing vaccines that include a recombinant protein vaccine that uses genetic engineering. However, this is not the main priority for the group.

With all these vaccines underway, Shanghai vaccine expert Tao Lina warns that these vaccines could have advantages and disadvantages, and it is still early to say which type will be ready to use first.

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