After entering the second phase of clinical trials, China is reported to have approved clinical tests of the third coronavirus vaccine too. The vaccines that are approved by China for clinical tests include one developed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
China has reported 12 new coronavirus cases, but no deaths have been recorded. On April 24, at least 29 asymptomatic cases were reported. China has kept 983 suspected asymptomatic cases under medical observation.
Adenovirus vector vaccine, developed by the Institute of Military Medicine under the Academy of Military Sciences, was the first to be approved for clinical trial.
On April 24, a vaccine developed by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products under the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) started its clinical trials. Trials are being conducted on 'inactivated' vaccine. Inactivated vaccine is also known as 'killed vaccine' consisting of virus particles, bacteria, or other pathogens that have been grown in culture. This kind of vaccine does not have the capacity to cause diseases.
Pathogens used in inactivated vaccines are grown under controlled conditions and are killed to stop infections. The virus is killed using heat or formaldehyde, a strong-smelling, colourless gas.
However, one of the centers that developed the vaccine which is under trial, i.e. the Wuhan Institute of Virology, came under criticism after US President Donald Trump accused China of developing the coronavirus at its lab.
China responded that the claim was purely based on speculation.
In the first phase, 96 people belonging to three different age groups have been injected with the vaccine under clinical trials on April 23. The result of the trial is not out and the patients are under observation. It is said that so far the vaccine has shown 'safe results.'
Clinical trials are held in three ways: randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled. In the randomized method, patients are selected randomly. In double-blind trial, neither the participants nor those conducting experiments know information about the receiver of a particular treatment. This procedure is used to prevent bias in research results.
The placebo-controlled trial refers to the medical therapy a group of patients with similar conditions are made to receive treatment that does not have any therapeutic value. This trial is conducted to assess how patients perceive their condition and encourage the body's chemical processes for relieving pain.
Reports claim China has approved the list of candidates who will undergo clinical trials for these three vaccines.