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Coronavirus vaccine: Chinese scientists plan joint trials with Russia

Chinese scientists have offered to carry out joint vaccine trials with their Russian counterparts in what could be seen as a vote of confidence following Moscow’s decision to rush through approval for a Covid-19 vaccine.

The plan was announced by China’s top respiratory diseases expert Zhong Nanshan on Sunday during a symposium with Russian scientists. He did not specify which vaccine candidate would be tested or where the trials would take place.

He also said Russia had made rapid progress in developing a vaccine, adding: “China and Russia can learn a lot from each other. Russia’s technologies and strategies [in fighting Covid-19] are worth studying, while China has its unique methods to control the pandemic, especially the use of traditional Chinese medicine.”

Russia has reported more than 925,000 Covid-19 cases, adding around 5,000 new daily cases in the first half of August, with a low recorded death rate of around 1.7 per cent.

Last week Russia announced that it had become the first country to approve a vaccine and had started producing doses – without carrying out large-scale trials to test its efficacy and safety. The announcement was greeted with widespread scepticism by scientists, including America’s top disease specialist Anthony Fauci. Read More

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