(Yicai Global) May 23 -- China’s second wave of Covid-19 this year will likely peak at the end of next month, with vaccines being prepared to tackle new variants, according to Zhong Nanshan, a top Chinese expert on respiratory diseases.
Led by the omicron XBB strain, the latest resurgence of Covid-19 began to spread in mid-April, Zhong told the Greater Bay Area Science Forum in Guangzhou yesterday. Cases are expected to peak at about 40 million a week late this month and 65 million a week in late June, he said.
Two kinds of vaccines against the XBB variant have been initially approved by Chinese regulators, with three to four more to be given the green light soon, Zhong noted, without disclosing further details. China can be ahead of the world in developing more effective vaccines, he added.
Prevention cannot be fully achieved because the virus mutates too fast, Zhong pointed out. The cause of death from infections with the omicron variant is often the aggravation of underlying diseases, he said, adding that it is vital for people with underlying conditions to avoid infection.
Two of WestVac Biopharma’s recombinant protein vaccines against the XBB strain won approval for clinical trials from China’s National Medical Products Administration, the Chengdu-based firm said on May 17. The jabs will be quickly commercialized once the trials are completed, it added.
“We hope these vaccines will be available soon, but clinical studies need time,” an industry insider told Yicai Global. “There are no foreign vaccines against the XBB variant approved for clinical trials.”
Editors: Tang Shihua, Martin Kadiev