Current Chinese vaccines effective against Indian Covid-19 variants, says Beijing disease control center

The Chinese Center for Disease Control has said it is confident that its vaccines, which have been heavily scrutinized in the West, will work against Indian variants of Covid-19, citing preliminary research.

Speaking at a news briefing on Thursday, Shao Yiming, a researcher at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that Beijing was paying close attention to Indian variants and was ready to react if necessary. 

“Relevant companies and research institutions in our country have also conducted some research on the Indian variant. Our preliminary research results show that our existing vaccine can still deal with this Indian variant and can have a protective effect,” he stated.

Shao did not elaborate on which Indian variants he was referring to, or which vaccine or vaccines will be effective against the variant first noted in India. 

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The vaccine expert said that China was prepared to respond should mutant variants develop which may evade the immunity provided by the current shots. Shao said he thought it was very likely that such mutant strains would eventually emerge.

“Because we only need to add a new mutant virus to the feeding end, the entire production process does not need to be changed at all… We will have new vaccines for the mutant strains that the existing vaccines cannot deal with.”

China has now administered 449 million vaccines in the fight against Covid-19, although the effectiveness of some Chinese shots has been called into question. However, in early May, the World Health Organization gave its backing to the Sinopharm jab, claiming it had proven its “safety, efficacy and quality.” 

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