- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Chinese authorities have approved a new COVID-19 vaccine for immediate use by military staff.

The Chinese military will be the first armed forces authorized to use an experimental coronavirus vaccine, the South China Morning Post reported Monday. The vaccine, known as Ad5-nCoV, is based on an Ebola vaccine and has been through two phases of clinical trials.

It was developed by the Academy of Military Medical Sciences and CanSino Biologics.

The trials indicated the vaccine was safe and had a “relatively high” immune response to the antigen, CanSino said Monday. The phase two trial was approved to move ahead in April and involved 500 healthy adults over the age of 18.

The experimental vaccine has yet to undergo the third phase of clinical trials, which would measure its effectiveness. While the Chinese military has approved of its use for a year, it has not been authorized for civilians.

Scientists are scrambling to develop a vaccine as the coronavirus continues to quickly spread, particularly in the U.S., which makes up about a quarter of the infections and deaths globally.

Worldwide, the coronavirus has infected more than 10 million people and killed more than 500,000, a tally from Johns Hopkins University shows.

As of Tuesday, China has recorded more than 84,000 infections and 4,600 deaths while the U.S. has confirmed more than 2.6 million infections and 126,000 deaths.

There are 17 vaccine candidates currently undergoing clinical trials, including three in China.

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