BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- The COVID-19 vaccines produced by China are safe and effective, according to health officials and experts attending a press conference held by the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19 on Saturday.
HIGH VACCINATION RATE
So far, 92.1 percent of the population from the 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines, 89.7 percent are fully vaccinated, and 71.7 percent have received the booster, said Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission (NHC).
Among those aged 60 and above, 89.6 percent have received at least one dose, while the full vaccination rate and booster vaccination rate are 84.7 percent and 67.3 percent, respectively.
"All China's incumbent Party and state leaders have completed vaccination against the coronavirus with domestically developed vaccines," Zeng said.
It fully demonstrates that Chinese leaders attach great importance to COVID-19 prevention and control and have high trust in the vaccines produced by the country, Zeng added.
MULTIPLE TECHNICAL ROUTES
China is currently conducting monovalent and multivalent vaccine research and development against Omicron variants through multiple technical routes.
"Chinese vaccines still protect against severe illness and death caused by Omicron variants," Feng Zijian, executive vice president and secretary general of the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, told the press conference.
The monovalent inactivated vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in the provinces of Zhejiang and Hunan as well as in Hong Kong.
The tetravalent recombinant protein vaccines have obtained approved documents for phase III clinical trials in the United Arab Emirates, and relevant studies have been carried out.
China is pushing forward its vaccine research and development against Omicron variants rapidly and steadily, said Feng.
NOT CAUSE OF LEUKEMIA AND DIABETES
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, and the vaccination does not lead to leukemia or diabetes, said Wang Fusheng, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Wang said various vaccine substances are safe for humans and will not directly cause diseases. The reagents used in the production of vaccines have been strictly verified by competent institutions and meet related standards.
He noted that the inactivated vaccines, the most widely used in China, have sufficient safety guarantees and have been recognized by international organizations.
The COVID-19 vaccines neither affect growth and development nor lead to tumor metastasis and antibody-dependent enhancement, as some internet sources claimed, according to Wang.
Wang further noted that clinical monitoring and statistical data show that in the four years before and after COVID-19 outbreak, the number of visits and hospitalizations for diabetes and leukemia are virtually the same, with no significant changes.
HOMOLOGOUS AND HETEROGENEOUS BOOSTER
The protective effect against COVID-19 can significantly improve by either homologous vaccination (enhanced with vaccines from the same technical route) or heterogeneous vaccination (enhanced with vaccines from different approved technical ways), said Zheng Zhongwei, an official with the NHC who also heads a vaccine research and development working group under the State Council's inter-agency task force.
Zheng said the protective effect of both homologous and heterogeneous booster shots are quite remarkable in preventing infection, severe cases, and death.
Wang Junzhi, an expert from the vaccine research and development working group under the State Council's inter-agency task force, said that the data from animal tests and human clinical trials during vaccine research and development showed that China's COVID-19 vaccines meet the national standards in both safety and effectiveness. ■