China building secure facilities to fast track coronavirus vaccine production

Employees work in the DaAn Gene laboratory in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China. EPA-EFE/ALEX PLAVEVSKI

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China is laying the groundwork to begin manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines as soon as they are given the green light.

Although the five drugs being developed by the country’s scientists are still months away from a full evaluation, secure facilities are already being built.

The facilities will have a biosecurity rating of 3, the second highest level, because Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is highly pathogenic and will need a secure environment if it used to make the vaccine.

Four of the five Chinese candidates are inactivated vaccines – a technique that involves killing the virus so that it cannot cause a serious infection but does stimulate an immune response and requires secure facilities.

The other Chinese vaccine, and five developed in other countries, are using genetic techniques that need lower levels of biosecurity because the actual Sars-CoV-2 virus is not used in the production process.

Read more via SCMP

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