COVID: China approves its first messenger RNA vaccine

COVID: China approves its first messenger RNA vaccine


China has given the green light to the use of China's first messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccine, its manufacturer said on Wednesday, as foreign vaccines are still not allowed in the country. 

The Asian giant had experienced an explosion of cases in December-January, after the sudden lifting of the strict confinements, quarantines and travel restrictions that had run until then.

The vaccine, designed by the pharmaceutical group CSPC , has been approved for “emergency use” by the Beijing health regulatory authority, the company said in a statement.

It was found to be highly effective in a trial during which it was used as a booster dose for people who had already received other types of vaccines, she added without further details.

Messenger RNA vaccines are generally considered to be among the most effective in reducing serious forms and deaths from the coronavirus.

Conventional vaccines seek to accustom the body to a virus, by directly introducing the virus these in the body, in attenuated or defused form. Those with messenger RNA, which appeared with the COVID-19 crisis, work differently.

They focus on a small part of the virus – in the case of SARS-CoV-2, the so-called “Spike” protein – and aim to inject strands of genetic instructions, called messenger RNA, into the body, ordering the body to make this protein.

Harmless in itself, this coronavirus 'spike' is then detected by the immune system which will produce antibodies.

China has not yet authorized any foreign vaccine in the country, including therefore those of the companies Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna which use the technology messenger RNA.