KEY POINTS

  • A Chinese experimental coronavirus vaccine being developed by the Institute of Medical Biology was shown to be safe in an early stage clinical trial
  • Researchers reported no severe adverse reactions from the injection
  • Most notably, the vaccine proved to be effective and induced an immune response within vaccine recipients

A Chinese experimental coronavirus vaccine being developed by the Institute of Medical Biology was shown to be safe in an early stage clinical trial, researchers said

The potential vaccine is currently in phase one of clinical trials and 191 healthy participants aged between 18 and 59 were given the experimental shot. Researchers reported no severe adverse reactions from the injection but only mild pain, slight fatigue, and redness, itching, and swelling at the injection site.

Most notably the vaccine proved to be effective and induced an immune response within vaccine recipients. 

“All the data obtained in this trial support the safety and immunogenicity of this inactivated vaccine and are encouraging with regard to further studies of its efficacy in the future,” researchers said.

China has vaccinated hundreds of thousands of essential workers and other groups considered at high risk with other vaccines, even as clinical trials had not been fully completed, raising safety concerns among experts.

Aside from China’s vaccine development, there have been other positive signs in the vaccine world.

The European Medicines Agency accelerated the approval process for a Covid-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer. This will allow rapid authorization once the vaccine is deemed safe and clears clinical trials. 

The decision by the EU regulator was based on preliminary results from the companies’ early clinical trials, which showed the vaccine triggers an immune response in adults. 

Albert Bourla, Pfizer's CEO, previously argued that the pharmaceutical conglomerate could have its vaccine results from its late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial as early as October.  In late July, Pfizer already enrolled 23,000 volunteers in its phase three trial but aims to expand to 44,000 participants to obtain more well-rounded results. 

“We expect by the end of October, we should have enough ... to say whether the product works or not,” Bourla said. 

U.S. health officials previously argued that results from late-stage vaccine trials could come in November, if not sooner.