A staff member displays a sample of the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine at a vaccine production plant of China National Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd (Sinopharm) in Beijing, capital of China, April 10, 2020. (Photo/Xinhua)
Five Chinese COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in Phase III clinical trials in foreign countries including the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Pakistan and Peru, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday.
In addition, a number of vaccines are moving forward with Phase I and Phase II clinical trials, Zhao said at a news conference.
He said Chinese research institutes and their personnel have made arduous efforts to promote vaccine research in strict accordance with scientific rules and regulations. Zhao said the Chinese government and the nation's enterprises have been actively participating in international cooperation on vaccines through bilateral and multilateral channels.
China joined COVAX, an international initiative aimed at ensuring equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, last month. The country has repeatedly stated that once it succeeds in developing and deploying a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, it will be made a global public good.
China expects COVAX to include locally made Chinese vaccines on the purchase list once it succeeds in vaccine research and development, and it will contribute to enhancing vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries, he said.
According to a recent report in the medical journal The Lancet, Sinovac Biotech's experimental COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac triggered a quick immune response during its mid-stage trials.
The report has fully demonstrated that Chinese vaccines are safe and effective, Zhao said.
Also on Wednesday, Zhao rebutted the claim that China's anti-coronavirus controls have disrupted imports of beef, poultry and fish, saying the moves are "reasonable and justifiable" and are intended to protect public health.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday that China's most recent COVID-19 restrictions on imported food products are not based on science and threaten to disrupt trade, Reuters reported.
Coronavirus has been found on frozen meat and on packaging, and has resulted in temporary suspensions being imposed on a number of suppliers.
"The relevant measures China took are necessary in following the spirit of putting people's lives first and protecting people's health," Zhao said.
The U.S. accusations are groundless and unreasonable, he said, adding that China will adjust relevant measures in a timely manner according to the development of the pandemic situation and its pandemic prevention and control requirements.