◎Reporter Zhang Jiaxing

  On February 15, two latest blockbuster papers on China's vaccines were published on the same day as the "Cell" sub-journal and the "Lancet" preprint website.

  One reported the protective efficacy of my country's self-developed second-generation vaccine against multiple variants of the new coronavirus: the second-generation vaccine can broadly neutralize multiple variants.

  Another report on the effectiveness of my country's new crown vaccine conducted by the Chilean National Ministry of Health among 1.976 million children and adolescents: the effectiveness of preventing symptomatic infection is 74.5%, and the prevention of severe or hospitalization is more than 90%.

  The scientifically-based data in the two papers shows that China's vaccine has played an important role in stopping the new crown pandemic and will continue to play its due role in combating virus mutation.

  Chinese vaccines can stand the "test of practice"

  By the end of 2021, China has provided 2 billion doses of the new crown vaccine.

With so many vaccines going to different countries and regions, what role has it played in local epidemic prevention and control?

  In order to get the exact answer, the reporter of Science and Technology Daily contacted and interviewed the relevant persons in charge of the three vaccine production enterprises of Sinopharm Group, China Biotechnology, China Kexing, and CanSino Bio, to seek the most direct answer.

  On May 3, 2021, the World Health Organization announced an evaluation report on the new crown inactivated vaccine of Sinopharm Zhongsheng Beijing Institute of Biology, which believes that the vaccine has an efficacy of 78.1%, a maximum of 90%, and good safety.

  WHO's evaluation of Sinopharm's Zhongsheng vaccine has been confirmed by real-world research data from one country after another: in Sri Lanka, the death protection rate of Sinopharm vaccine is as high as 97.9%; in Seychelles, in the United Arab Emirates, in Mongolia, in Zimbabwe, This value remains above 96%; a real-world study in Argentina specifically conducted statistics on the elderly who need key protection, and the Sinopharm vaccine has a death protection rate of 84% among people over 60 years old.

  "From the current data from many countries, the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing severe illness and death is mostly over 90%. In some places, there have been no deaths after vaccination." Yang Xiaoming, Chief Scientist, Chief Engineer, and Chairman of Sinopharm Group The protection against severe illness and death by inactivated vaccine is very obvious.

  "As of February 15, Sinovac has provided more than 130 million doses of the new crown vaccine (including semi-finished products) to Brazil and more than 26 million doses to Chile." Liu Peicheng, a spokesman for Sinovac, said that a study conducted in Brazil confirmed that, The vaccination rate of more than 75% has successfully curbed the spread of the virus; real-world research in Chile has confirmed that the Sinovac vaccine is about 90% effective in preventing hospitalization and severe illness in adults of all age groups; the newly released Chilean population of 6-16-year-old children is true The research on the protection effect of the world found that the Kexing new coronavirus inactivated vaccine can have a good protective effect on children when Omicron is raging.

  The Lancet recently published the final efficacy and interim safety analysis results of the global multicenter Phase III clinical trial of the CanSino adenovirus vector vaccine.

The results showed that 14 days after inoculation with a dose of CanSino adenovirus vector new crown vaccine, the severe protection rate was 96%, and there was no serious adverse reaction related to the vaccine.

  A more intuitive comparison is still on the way to publication, but has already attracted widespread attention at WHO academic conferences.

Zhu Tao, chief scientific officer of CanSino, said that the smooth progress of real-world research requires the support of local governments or non-profit organizations to obtain comprehensive and detailed data. Not every country has the conditions (including data collection conditions, experimental organization conditions, etc.) Conduct real-world research.

  "The Chilean government has organized real-world research including multiple new crown vaccines, and more data is accumulating." Zhu Tao said that the current data shows that different new crown vaccines are effective in terms of hospitalization, severe illness and death. It has demonstrated a strong protective effect. It is worth mentioning that the CanSino vaccine achieved a severe protection rate of more than 95% in this trial in Chile.

  Chinese vaccines can withstand the "mutation challenge"

  Omicron is not the first mutated strain. From Alpha to Delta to Omicron, each mutation of the new coronavirus will allow vaccine developers to dynamically monitor the effectiveness of the new crown vaccine.

  Over the past year, as the virus mutated, the protection rate of the vaccine against different mutated viruses has also changed.

For example, the AstraZeneca vaccine showed that the vaccine efficacy rate was over 90% in the phase III clinical trials before it was approved, but when the beta strain appeared, its effective rate dropped to 50%; another example, the vaccine with 85% vaccine coverage rate Israel, still broken after the Delta strain hit, has high numbers of infections and hospitalizations.

  In the previous several new coronavirus mutations, the Chinese vaccine has withstood the challenge.

"Among all the technical routes, inactivated vaccines are broad-spectrum." Yang Xiaoming made a vivid analogy. The virus is like a hand, and the key proteins of the virus are like different fingers. A vaccine designed for a certain sequence of It seems to be designed for one of the fingers.

When the thumb is mutated, the protective power of the vaccine developed only for the index finger is likely to drop sharply, but the inactivated vaccine is comprehensive. For all fingers, whichever changes will have little effect on the protective power and can be more effective against Mutations.

  In the past many changes of the new crown virus, the performance of inactivated vaccines in the real world has confirmed this.

  On January 20, 2022, the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a "Real-World Study on the Effectiveness of Inactivated New Coronavirus Vaccines on Delta Variation-Caused Symptoms, Pneumonia, and Serious Diseases", through an analysis of infected people in Zhengzhou. , the study believes that in the case of completing the basic immunization of the inactivated vaccine, the protective efficacy of the inactivated vaccine in my country against the delta variant in preventing infection, mild and severe cases is 51%, 61% and 82%, respectively.

  "Although China's early intervention in the new crown pneumonia epidemic is not serious, this study still confirms the important role of vaccines in the face of different mutants in a close population of confirmed patients." Liu Peicheng said.

  The inactivated vaccine based on the original strain can withstand the challenge of mutation, and has always maintained its "firepower" in the actual combat against various mutant strains.

  China's vaccine, decisively against Omicron

  The mutation of the virus never stops.

When the super-multiple mutations on the Omicron variant appeared, vaccine developers were more vigilant and stepped up the pace of research and development.

Shao Yiming, a member of the expert group for vaccine research and development of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism Scientific Research Team of the State Council, said at a press conference on February 19 that my country has carried out research and development of Omicron variant vaccines, and progress has been rapid.

A variety of vaccines have submitted clinical trial application materials and are awaiting approval.

Relevant departments have completed the guidelines for vaccine development and evaluation for Omicron, and issued them to vaccine research and development companies in a point-to-point manner to promote the research and development process.

  According to reports, Sinopharm Group China Biotech obtained the Omicron strain in early December last year, and has developed two inactivated vaccines against Omicron, which are being submitted to the drug regulatory authorities for rolling review.

  "The research and development of inactivated vaccines for new mutants is definitely faster than last time." Yang Xiaoming's analogy is light: now the workshop, technology, and team are all mature, as if the pots and pans are full of oil, salt, sauce and vinegar, come with a potato and everything , Once it's fried, it's out of the pot.

  Although the weight is light, but never let go of the burden!

The fact that "no matter what technical route is in the protection of Omicron mutated virus" has led China's vaccine developers to actively seek more breakthroughs.

  "Vaccine development should take three steps one step at a time." Yang Xiaoming said that it cannot be led by the mutation of the virus. Now, under the premise of safety and accessibility, we should think about including all mutations or predict possible mutations.

Based on this, Sinopharm started the research on genetic recombinant protein vaccine, and obtained a designable broad-spectrum second-generation new crown vaccine by adopting new technologies of mutation integration and trimerization fusion.

  Zhu Tao also said that CanSino relies on the advantages of the adenovirus vector technology platform and mRNA technology platform. Once the protection of the existing vaccine is found to be reduced, a new vaccine against the mutant strain can be produced in the shortest time.

  China's vaccine responds to the urgent need for "global coverage"

  The new crown virus has swept the world, and people all over the world have the same and urgent desire: to stop the new crown pandemic in the shortest time.

  Just imagine, if all 7 billion people in the world complete the vaccination of effective vaccines in a short period of time, there will be no chance for the virus to continue to mutate, and there will be no continuous cycle of virus mutation and vaccine upgrade.

  However, 7 billion people have been vaccinated, placing high demands on vaccine accessibility.

"Accessibility includes both quantity availability and cost availability." Yang Xiaoming said that these should be considered at the beginning of the development of a new crown vaccine, so China's vaccines have the best safety, storage and transportation conditions, and have the To achieve full coverage in the shortest time and establish vaccine conditions for the establishment of a national immunization barrier, so that people around the world can afford it and get it in a timely manner.

China has provided more than 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations, and has helped many countries achieve local production of COVID-19 vaccines through cooperative production.

  In order to end the new crown pandemic, the WHO has set a target of 70% of the population being vaccinated against the new crown by the middle of this year.

The head of the WHO has called for many times: To achieve this goal, the current global vaccine supply is generally insufficient, and bridging the "immunization gap" is the top priority of current international vaccine cooperation.