Chinese manufacturers have been bullish about development, with companies Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm even putting their vaccine candidates on display at a trade fair in Beijing this month.
Representatives of the firms told AFP that they hope their vaccines will be approved after phase 3 trials as early as year-end.
And on late Monday, the chief biosafety expert at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control told state broadcaster CCTV that a vaccine would be available to the general public “around November or December.”
Wu Guizhen did not specify which vaccine she was referring to, but said “based on the phase 3 clinical results, the current progress is very smooth.”
Wu added that she had taken a vaccine in April and has felt good over the past few months, although she did not specify which candidate she had taken.
There are currently nine vaccine candidates in late-stage human trials, although some have hit recent obstacles — pharma giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University momentarily paused clinical trials last week after a volunteer developed an unexplained illness.
Some of China’s vaccine candidates have already been offered to essential workers under an emergency use programme.
A Sinovac spokesman told AFP this month that “tens of thousands” of people had voluntarily taken its vaccine, including 90 percent of its employees and their families — between 2,000 and 3,000 people.
In June, China’s military approved a vaccine for use within its ranks developed by its research unit and a biotech firm.
© Agence France-Presse
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