The third phase of international clinical trials is underway for a recombinant COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese researchers, CCTV reported on Wednesday.
Developed by a team led by Major General Chen Wei, academician at the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Academy of Military Medical Sciences, the vaccine was one of the first to enter the first and then the second phase of clinical trials domestically and internationally.
On January 26, Chen led a team to Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province to fight the epidemic on the frontline. After arriving in Wuhan, Chen's team started building a portable testing lab, which started operation on January 30. The lab soon achieved the testing capability of 1,000 people per day.
On March 16, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chen and her team became the first to be approved by China for clinical trials.
The vaccine entered the second phase of clinical trials on April 12. It is the first COVID-19 vaccine in the world that entered the second phase of clinical trials, according to the World Health Organization.
"A large amount of research needs to be done before we start clinical trials so as to minimize risks," Chen told CCTV in an interview on Wednesday.
Chen and her team took a step-wise approach in clinical trials, starting with the minimum dose and number of volunteers.
"What you see is that we have one vaccine undergoing clinical trials, but behind that we have about 30 candidates," she said.
Chen, who has made major achievements in COVID-19-related basic research and development of vaccine and protective medicine, received the national honorary title of "People's Hero" in the fight against COVID-19 on Tuesday.