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World

China exploring ways to mix different COVID vaccines to improve efficacy

  • Gao says one option is to adjust the dosage, the interval between doses, or increase the number of doses while the second route is to mix vaccines that use different technologies
  • More attention should be given to developing mRNA vaccines as the technology provided an opportunity for breakthroughs in treating all kinds of illnesses: health expert
Updated 11 Apr 2021

(Karachi) In a major development, China is now exploring ways to mix different Covid-19 vaccines to address the relatively low efficacy of its existing jabs, local media reported on Sunday.

Top Chinese health expert Dr Gao Fu, who heads the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the authorities should solve the low efficacy issue of existing vaccines and try to improve them.

He said that one option is to adjust the dosage, the interval between doses, or increase the number of doses. "The second route is to mix vaccines that use different technologies," he maintained.

He stated that researchers should not ignore mRNA vaccines just because there are already several coronavirus jabs in the country. "More attention should be given to developing mRNA vaccines as the technology provided an opportunity for breakthroughs in treating all kinds of illnesses such as infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, cancer and genetic diseases," Gao pointed out.

Currently, none of China's jabs conditionally approved for the market are mRNA vaccines, but products that use the technology include those by US pharma giant Pfizer and German start-up BioNTech, as well as by Moderna.

Three Chinese inactivated vaccines are currently available, including one made by Sinovac. Its vaccines had an efficacy rate of 50.4 percent in trials in Brazil, and 83.5 percent from separate trials in Turkey.

Sinopharm says its two inactivated vaccines have efficacy rates of 79 percent and 72.5 respectively, while CanSino says its product has an efficacy rate of 75 percent.