China needs better home-grown vaccines to combat Covid-19 variant Omicron: Expert

A resident receiving a booster shot of the Sinovac vaccine in China's Shandong province on Jan 9, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
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BEIJING (CAIXIN GLOBAL) China should encourage domestic drugmakers to upgrade their existing Covid-19 vaccines and introduce more-powerful shots as the country combats its worst outbreak, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, a medical expert said.

The inactivated-virus Covid-19 vaccines that are widely used in China have performed well to prevent severe disease and death, but their protective power "is not enough" to beat the Omicron variant amid increasing pressure from imported infections, said Dr Ding Sheng, dean of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

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