An elderly man in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, received a shot of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine as a booster on Saturday. It was the country's first COVID-19 vaccine based on messenger RNA technology, according to its maker, CSPC Pharmaceutical Group.
The vaccine, which was developed independently by the company, will be offered free of charge across the country.
The key raw materials and auxiliary materials used in the production of the mRNA vaccine are all produced by the company, while the rest are produced by other Chinese companies.
According to CSPC, the mRNA vaccine was approved for emergency use by the country's health regulators in March.
"The mRNA vaccine can produce strong humoral immunity, cellular immunity and long-term immune memory, providing longer sustainable protection for people vaccinated, " said Yang Hanyu, vice-chairman of the group.
He added that the mRNA vaccine has prominent advantages in preventing severe illnesses and deaths caused by COVID-19 viruses. It covers the core mutation sites of the Omicron variant and can protect against Omicron strains.
In addition, researchers can quickly modify the mRNA vaccine shots to target new virus strains.
"The production of mRNA vaccines does not require adjuvants, virus preparation or recombinant protein preparation, and can be developed quickly as long as the virus genetic sequence is known," Yang said.