There are reports* in the media that the head of the Chinese pharmaceutical firm SinoPharm has said that their COVID-19 vaccine candidate will be commercially available by the end of the year.
Prof Keith Neal, Emeritus Professor of the Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, University of Nottingham, said:
“Without seeing published reviewed papers, it is difficult to comment on the vaccine.
“The most noteworthy aspect is that a leading Chinese company can only make 220 million doses, enough for 110 million people. The Chinese population is 1.4 billion.
“This highlights the long-standing world shortage of capacity for vaccine production.
“Even at $140 this is not affordable for many people across the world who need it. It is much higher than the price estimated for other vaccines.
“Moving the phase III trial to Bahrain highlights the difficulty in doing studies to demonstrate the vaccine actually protects against infection in many of those countries which have developed vaccines.”
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