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BEIJING: President Xi Jinping‘s government is throwing the might of the Chinese state behind the country’s vaccine developers as the world races to make a shot against the coronavirus. 


The sheer scale and speed of China’s effort ratchets up pressure on the US, where President Donald Trump‘s administration has launched a program called Operation Warp Speed to accelerate vaccine research and development. Xi has promised to share any successful vaccine globally, and the Chinese president would wield immense geopolitical clout if his country produces one of the world’s first working shots.

中国取得成果的规模之大和速度之快,给美国施加了压力,为了加速研发疫苗,特朗普政府在美国发起了一项名为“曲速行动”的计划。 习近平已承诺将在全球范围内分享任何成功的疫苗,而如果中国产生世界上第一个成功的疫苗,中国国家主席将发挥巨大的地缘政治影响力。

In total, five vaccines developed by Chinese companies are being tested on humans, the most in any country. Beijing has mobilized its health authorities, drug regulators and research institutes to work around the clock with local companies. Communist Party leaders are overseeing some vaccine trials. Government and private equity money has gone into companies like Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd., which in May began the second stage of testing for its vaccine. 

中国公司研发的疫苗总共有五种,正在进行人体试验,这在所有国家中最多。 北京已动员其卫生部门,药品监管机构和研究机构与当地公司夜以继日地进行合作。国家领导人正在监督一些疫苗试验。 政府和私人股本资金已经投入了众多公司,如位于北京的科兴控股生物技术有限公司,该公司于5月开始了第二阶段的疫苗测试。

The Chinese efforts were on show late Friday, when an early-stage study published in the medical journal, The Lancet, showed that an experimental vaccine from China’s CanSino Biologics Inc. was safe and generated an immune response. It’s too early to predict the product’s eventual success, and investors beat down CanSino’s stock amid concerns it could have shortcomings. 

中国的成果在周五晚些时候得以展示,当时发表在医学杂志《柳叶刀》上的一项早期研究表明,来自中国的康希诺生物股份公司的实验性疫苗是安全的,并产生了免疫反应。 尚无法预测该产品的最终成功还为时过早,投资者担心其可能存在缺陷而纷纷减仓。

China could still cross the finish line first, said Brad Loncar, chief executive officer of Loncar Investments in the US and a CanSino investor. However, he shares the worries about the company’s experimental shot. 

Brad Loncar, Loncar

投资驻美的首席执行官兼CanSino投资者表示,中国仍然可能首先冲过终点线。 不过,他也对该公司的试验感到担忧。

“Whether this will be a strong vaccine that offers full protection, that’s another story,” he said. 


The speedy publication in an international journal showed the seriousness of the Chinese efforts. China is also pursuing vaccine candidates using more traditional technologies that are more amenable to mass production. 

在国际杂志上迅速发表的文章显示了中国成果的重要性。 中国也在使用更适合大规模生产的传统技术来寻找候选疫苗。


The Asian country faces stiff competition in the UK and US, and it remains difficult to assess which experimental products will work and cross the line first. But the nations with the earliest successful vaccines would gain an important weapon at a time when governments are attempting to emerge out of lockdowns that have fueled severe economic contractions. The virus that caused Covid-19 has already killed about 350,000 worldwide. 

这个亚洲国家在英国和美国面临激烈的竞争,因此仍然很难评估哪些实验产品会奏效并最新冲破终点。 但是,当政府试图摆脱加剧严重经济紧缩的封锁之时,拥有最早成功疫苗的国家将获得重要武器。新冠状病毒已经导致全球大约35万人死亡。

China would use any vaccine to show it is a responsible stakeholder in global health, said Nicholas Thomas, associate professor specializing in public health at the City University of Hong Kong. “The question that will then arise is to what extent their holding of the vaccine is used for geopolitical purposes, specifically with the United States.”

(SOURCE: World Health Organization. NOTE: Phase I trials usually study safety in a small number of patients. Phase II involves larger human testing.) 

香港城市大学公共卫生专业副教授尼古拉斯·托马斯说,中国将用任何疫苗表明她是全球卫生领域负责任的利益相关者。 “然后出现的问题是,他们持有的疫苗在多大程度上被地缘政治化,特别是在美国。”


Xi is attempting to burnish his nation’s image after global criticism about its early handling of the virus, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan. He has vowed that the country’s vaccines, once approved for use, will become a global public good and accessible to other developing countries. In doing so, he’s presented a contrast with Trump, who has threatened to cut off funding to the World Health Organization in a move that could disrupt vaccination and other public health initiatives in poor countries. 

中国早期对病毒的应对遭受全球指责之后,习近平试图提升其国家形象,这种病毒最早出现在中国的武汉市。 他誓言该国的疫苗一旦获准使用,将成为全球公共物品,并可供其他发展中国家使用。 这样一来,他与特朗普形成了鲜明对比,特朗普扬言要切断向世界卫生组织的拨款,此举有可能破坏贫困国家的疫苗接种和其他公共卫生举措。

While China has boosted its scientific prowess in recent years, it has yet to produce a novel blockbuster drug or vaccine. Its vaccine industry has in past years also been tarnished by a series of scandals involving sub-par production and safety incidents. China’s National Medical Products Administration, the nation’s drug regulator, didn’t immediately comment. 

尽管近年来中国在科学方面的实力得到了提高,但它尚未生产出新颖的畅销药物或疫苗。 在过去几年中,其疫苗行业也因一系列涉及低于标准生产和安全事件的丑闻而受到损害。 中国国家药品监督管理局,国家药品监督管理局没有立即发表评论。

In April, Gao Fu, director of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in an interview with state-run CCTV that the country could have a vaccine ready for emergency use by September and more broadly available for healthy people as soon as early next year. 

4月,中国疾病预防控制中心主任高复在接受央视采访时说,中国可能会在9月前准备好疫苗供紧急情况下使用,并于明年年初更广泛地向正常人开放 。

Preventing infections


Globally, data from a slew of companies show how much work remains to be done to produce a working vaccine before companies anywhere in the world can declare victory. 


In the US, Moderna Inc. has announced early readouts of its Phase I clinical trials, indicating that some of those getting its shot have generated neutralizing antibodies that could potentially prevent infections. Still, after an initial rally its stock has fallen on concerns that the publicly available data isn’t enough to draw conclusions about the vaccine’s efficacy. 

在美国,美国生物技术公司宣布了其第一阶段临床试验的早期读数,表明其中一些已经产生了中和抗体,可以预防感染。 尽管如此,在最初的反弹之后,由于担心公开数据不足以得出有关疫苗功效的结论,其库存下降了。

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca Plc received more than $1 billion in US government funding to develop a Covid-19 vaccine candidate from the University of Oxford, and said it has supply agreements for 400 million doses. The Oxford shot is one of the world’s fastest-moving, and AstraZeneca has said it expects to have doses ready as soon as September.

同时,阿斯利康公司从美国牛津大学获得了超过10亿美元的政府拨款,用于研发新冠状病毒候选疫苗,并表示已与4亿剂疫苗达成供应协议。 牛津试验是世界上运动最快的试验之一,阿斯利康表示,希望最快能在9月就准备好剂量。 

Still, a former Harvard University research scientist, William Haseltine, has said in a blog that results of an animal test of the Oxford vaccine were weaker than those of a vaccine being developed by Sinovac. The Oxford researchers say the comparison isn’t suitable for studies carried out with different types of vaccines given in varying doses in monkeys with different levels of infection. 

哈佛大学前研究科学家威廉·哈塞尔廷仍然在博客中表示,牛津疫苗的动物实验结果比辛诺瓦克研发的疫苗要弱。 牛津大学的研究人员说,这种比较不适用于对感染程度不同的猴子使用不同剂量的不同类型疫苗进行的研究。

Genetic material


CanSino makes its vaccine using a genetically modified cold-causing virus to carry the genetic material of the novel coronavirus, similar to the approach employed by Oxford. 


The research on the CanSino vaccine was conducted in Wuhan and the company has teamed up with Chen Wei, a prominent military researcher. CanSino previously worked with Chen on an Ebola vaccine that was approved for emergency use in 2017. 


While the results in the Lancet study represent a milestone, they should be interpreted cautiously, Chen said in the report. “The challenges in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine are unprecedented, and the ability to trigger these immune responses does not necessarily indicate that the vaccine will protect humans from Covid-19.” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Sam Fazeli said in a research note that the study on the CanSino vaccine was “promising, but no cause for celebration.” The data showed shortcomings, including the possibility of older patients having a lower response to the vaccine, he said. 

陈伟在报告中说,虽然《柳叶刀》研究的结果是一个里程碑,但应谨慎解释。 “研发新冠状病毒疫苗面临的挑战是前所未有的,触发这些免疫反应的能力并不一定表明该疫苗将保护人类免受新冠状病毒的侵害。” 彭博情报分析师Sam Fazeli在一份研究报告中说,有关康希诺生物疫苗的研究“很有希望的,但没有值得庆祝的理由。” 他说,数据显示出缺陷,包括老年患者对疫苗反应较低的可能性。

Mass production


Another potential obstacle for China is the final stage of testing, which needs to be carried out in places where the virus is spreading, according to Loncar, the fund manager. China has mostly quelled its outbreak, and the few clusters that have emerged may not be large enough for late-stage trials. 

基金经理Loncar表示,对中国而言,另一个潜在的障碍是试验的最后阶段,该阶段必须在病毒传播的地方进行。 中国大都平息了疫情,已经出现的少数几个集群可能不足以进行后期试验。

Several other Chinese companies, including Sinovac and China National Biotec Group Co., have candidates in human trials that employ a killed version of the novel coronavirus that can still an trigger immune response. Such inactivated vaccines have been developed for many years to protect populations from diseases including polio and hepatitis. 

包括科兴控股生物和中国国家生物技术集团在内的其他几家中国公司在人体试验中都使用了被杀死的新型冠状病毒,但仍可以触发免疫反应。 这种灭活疫苗已经开发了很多年,以保护人们免受脊髓灰质炎和肝炎等疾病的侵害。

Sinovac’s research and development subsidiary has received $15 million from private equity firms Advantech Capital and Vivo Capital to fund the development of the inactivated vaccine, dubbed CoronaVac. The company has also been assigned a large factory to produce its coronavirus vaccine. 

科兴控股生物的研发子公司已从私募股权公司尚珹资本和维梧资本那里获得了1500万美元的投资,用于开发名为CoronaVac的灭活疫苗。 该公司还被分配了一个大型工厂来生产其冠状病毒疫苗。

While inactivated vaccines may be slower to develop initially, their familiar path to mass production might allow them to overtake shots made by newer, cutting-edge approaches.


“Those vaccines don’t have manufacturing capability at a truly global scale yet,” Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations which funds vaccine development, said of newer technologies. The more traditional approach could be slower in getting to completion but could scale up more rapidly, he said. That could be particularly helpful to Xi’s goal of distributing China’s vaccine worldwide.

“那些疫苗还未具备真正的全球规模化的生产能力,”为疫苗研发提供资金的流行病防备创新联盟首席执行官理查德·哈切特谈到新技术时, 他说,较传统的方法可能较慢地完成,但可以更快地扩展。 这对于习近平将中国疫苗在全球范围内分发的目标特别有用。