On April 26, Sinopharm Group China Bio-Omicoron Variant Novel Coronavirus Inactivated Vaccine received clinical approval from the State Food and Drug Administration.

  Why do we need a vaccine specifically for Omicron?

When will the new vaccine be available?

How will the new vaccine be administered and what is the vaccination strategy?

On April 27, Sinopharm China Biological Organization Media Communication Meeting answered the above questions one by one.

Why is a dedicated Omicron vaccine needed?

  As early as December last year, the World Health Organization issued a reminder that the Omicron variant may make the effectiveness of the new crown vaccine less effective, and the risk of people being repeatedly infected with this strain is higher. high.

This suggestion was confirmed as Omicron gradually became the mainstream strain.

  Zhang Yuntao, chief scientist and vice president of Sinopharm China Biotechnology, said: When the neutralizing antibody produced by the prototype strain has a significant decrease in the neutralizing activity of Omicron, a new vaccine needs to be developed.

The results of the current study show that neutralizing antibodies do drop substantially in neutralizing activity in the face of Omicron.

  To this end, vaccine researchers at home and abroad are seeking effective vaccines against Omicron to improve the protective effect of the vaccine.

However, up to now, foreign countries have not obtained better results than the original strain in terms of immunogenicity when developing a new generation of Omicron vaccine.

When will the new vaccine become available?

  Clinical studies of the new vaccine are planned to be conducted in mainland China and Hong Kong in the short term.

The clinical research work will be carried out in accordance with the relevant guidelines for vaccine development and evaluation. The relevant clinical program needs to be determined after further discussions with experts and drug regulatory authorities. It is expected to take about 3-4 months to complete.

  According to reports, the clinical trial in Hong Kong is in the process of intensive preparations, and the official clinical trial vaccination work can be started in the near future.

Can it stop breakthrough infections?

  In the upcoming clinical trial study, the research team will pay close attention to whether the vaccine can stimulate the human body to produce specific neutralizing antibodies against Omicron.

  "This is the core issue of vaccine effectiveness, which will be continuously observed in clinical research." Zhang Yuntao said that further effects need to be verified in humans to give clinical data on vaccine effectiveness.

  According to reports, during the development of the new vaccine, the research team also paid close attention to the situation of cellular immunity, and also designed continuous detection of cellular immunity during the design process of clinical research.

Cellular immunity will make up for the generally poor persistence of neutralizing antibodies against the new coronavirus.

How will I get the new vaccine?

  In view of the current vaccination situation of the new crown vaccine in my country, the clinical research plan of the new vaccine will be carried out separately according to two routes.

  Clinical trials of new vaccines are not designed as the fourth shot of a vaccine.

The upcoming Omicron vaccine will be carried out for two groups of people, some of which are people who have been vaccinated and two and three doses of the new crown inactivated vaccine, and one and two doses of the Omicron vaccine will be carried out in the future. clinical research.

  Zhang Yuntao said: "We have also launched a blank population vaccination study." Direct injection of the Omicron vaccine in people who have not been vaccinated against the new crown to observe its safety and immunogenicity. If data is obtained from this part of the clinical study, the blank population New vaccines are available directly.