China

medicine

NE China to open herbal medicine industrial park

(MENAFN) Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province has exported an industrial park processing herbal medicines imported from Russia.

According to local officials, the industrial park in the Suifenhe sub-area of the Heilongjiang Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) has seen the registration of six herbal medicine processing companies.

The park will have an annual medicine processing capacity of 165,000 tonnes, with an overall investment of 339 million yuan (about 51.46 million U.S. dollars),

A new policy allows herbal medicines, such as ginseng and licorice, from Russia to be processed in the Suifenhe area of the FTZ.

Imported drugs can be unloaded, primarily processed and sold directly in Suifenhe, thus helping companies reduce costs, said Wang Tengli, general manager of a local pharmaceutical trading company with an annual processing capacity of 2,000 tonnes.

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China says decision to remove Hong Kong lawmakers is ‘the right medicine’ for the city

China has defended its decision to oust four pro-democracy lawmakers from Hong Kong as “the right medicine” for the city, blasting foreign governments for “meddling” in domestic issues that are none of its business.

“The plain fact is that it is exactly these politicians who have arbitrarily meddled with China’s internal affairs,” said the Chinese foreign ministry in a statement. “It is these politicians who have breached their international obligations.” 

Pandemonium erupted in Hong Kong’s parliament this week as 15 pro-democracy lawmakers resigned in protest after government officials dismissed four of their colleagues on alleged national security grounds, yet another step in a broader crackdown from Beijing to quash dissent. 

Many foreign governments have condemned China for dismissing the lawmakers.

The UK on Thursday declared China to be in formal breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-registered treaty meant to preserve Hong Kong’s freedoms after the former British colony was returned to Beijing rule under the Communist Party.

Unseating four pro-democracy lawmakers, however, amounted to a “clear breach” of that agreement, said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. 

“Beijing has eliminated nearly all of Hong Kong’s promised autonomy, as it neuters democratic processes and legal traditions that have been the bedrock of Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity,” said US secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

“Once again, the [Chinese Communist Party’s] twisted vision of patriotism is a pretext to stifle freedom and the call for democracy.” 

China has long sought to wrest control of Hong Kong, where protest movements over eroding freedoms have erupted every few years since Beijing resumed control of the territory from Britain in 1997.

Discontent peaked last year when millions of Hong Kong people took to the streets, disrupting the city with mass protests that often ended in violence with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets. 

Demonstrations abated with the coronavirus pandemic, and after a sweeping national security law was imposed by Beijing this summer. The law criminalises acts authorities deem as secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign collusion, punishable by up to life in prison.

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China says removal of Hong Kong lawmakers was ‘right medicine’

The ousting of four pro-democracy lawmakers from Hong Kong’s legislature was “the right medicine” for the city, China said, telling foreign governments the issue was none of their business.

Fifteen politicians vowed to quit in anger after their colleagues were removed on national security grounds by the Beijing-appointed chief executive, boosting fears that the room for dissent in Hong Kong is shrinking.

Millions of Hong Kongers took to the streets last year in months of disruptive protests over ebbing freedoms. Demonstrations were stamped out by the pandemic and a swingeing new law that made certain opinions illegal overnight.

The expulsions this week were “the right medicine that will start a new chapter in ensuring smooth operation” of Hong Kong’s legislature, said China’s foreign ministry in Hong Kong in a statement dated Thursday.

“The decision is intended to guarantee normal operation of governing bodies… and better ensure Hong Kong is governed by Hong Kong people with a high degree of autonomy,” it said.

Britain — which handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 — summoned China’s ambassador in London on Thursday, accusing Beijing of breaking international treaty obligations that guaranteed the financial hub special status and a high degree of autonomy.

London has increasingly locked horns with China since Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong this year.

The European Union urged the “immediate reinstatement” of the lawmakers, and Canada said their ousting had the effect of “eroding human rights in Hong Kong”.

China pushed back at the criticism, telling a “handful of foreign politicians to grasp the trend of the times, keep their hands off China’s internal affairs, stop meddling with Hong Kong affairs in any form, and avoid going further down the wrong path.”

London has already angered Beijing by offering Hong Kongers holding British National Overseas passports a route to UK citizenship by relaxing entry and residency requirements.

Hong Kong’s leader is chosen by pro-Beijing committees, but half of the legislature’s 70 seats are directly elected, offering the city’s 7.5 million residents a rare chance to have their voices heard at the ballot box.

The expulsions and resignations will leave just two legislators outside the pro-Beijing camp, both of them unaligned with either bloc.

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Frozen Food Packages in China Keep Testing Positive For Coronavirus. Here’s Why Health Experts Aren’t Worried

They’ve reportedly found it on packages of Ecuadorian shrimp, squid from Russia and Norwegian seafood.



a man preparing food in a room: Medical workers wearing protective suits collect samples from imported frozen beef for COVID-19 tests at a food factory in Shanghai, China on August 18, 2020.


© Yin Liqin—China News Service/Getty Images
Medical workers wearing protective suits collect samples from imported frozen beef for COVID-19 tests at a food factory in Shanghai, China on August 18, 2020.

Since June, Chinese health authorities have been detecting genetic traces of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, on refrigerated and frozen foods from around the world. Then, on Oct. 17, the Chinese Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced it had isolated active SARS-CoV-2 on packs of imported fish. The agency says this world-first discovery, made while tracing a recent outbreak in Qingdao to two dock workers, shows contaminated food packaging can cause infections.

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While it remains unclear if the dock workers actually contracted COVID-19 from the seafood they were handling, the government is stepping up precautions. Qingdao will now scrutinize all incoming frozen food (after testing all 9 million residents), while the Beijing city government has urged companies to avoid importing frozen foods from countries badly hit by the pandemic — though it did not specify which ones.

Concern over possible transmission through imported food is running high in China, which has nearly stamped out domestic transmission of the pathogen. It is one of the only countries to impose wide-scale coronavirus inspections on incoming shipments.

Elsewhere, health authorities have been more skeptical. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says there is “no evidence” to suggest food is associated with spreading the virus, while the World Health Organization (WHO) says it’s not necessary to disinfect food packaging. New Zealand meanwhile ruled out a theory that an August outbreak was connected to a cold-chain storage facility.

Read more: Wuhan Strives to Return to Normal, But Scars From the Pandemic Run

China’s CDC says 670,000 samples from frozen foods and packaging had been tested for COVID-19 as of Sept. 15. Reportedly, only 22 of them were positive (and prior to the Qingdao case it was not clear if any of the detected coronavirus was still active when thawed).

In recent months, the world’s second-largest economy has nevertheless temporarily suspended a slew of fish and meat imports, disrupting trade with several countries and reportedly causing shipping bottlenecks.

Several health experts have disputed the necessity of such precautions. While cold temperatures can preserve coronaviruses, they remain doubtful food and its packaging pose a major threat.

“It’s theoretically plausible, but the risk is much lower than the other more established routes of transmission for this virus,” says Siddharth Sridhar, a microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong (HKU).

What has China found?

China stepped up monitoring of imported foods after a second wave in June that infected 335 people was linked to Beijing’s sprawling Xinfadi market. The outbreak, which broke the capital’s run of 56 consecutive days without any new local infections, prompted a partial shutdown of the city and a probe into the origins.

Authorities suggested supplies of salmon from Europe may have been the source after

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health

Telix Pharmaceuticals and China Grand Pharma Announce Strategic Licence and Commercial Partnership for Greater China Market

MELBOURNE, Australia and HONG KONG, Nov. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: TLX, ‘Telix’, the ‘Company’) announces it has entered into a strategic licence and commercial partnership with China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings Limited (‘China Grand Pharma’) for Telix’s portfolio of Molecularly-Targeted Radiation (‘MTR’) products.

Telix has appointed China Grand Pharma as its exclusive partner for the Greater China market (‘Territory’)1 and grants China Grand Pharma exclusive development and commercialisation rights to Telix’s portfolio of prostate, renal and brain (glioblastoma) cancer imaging and therapeutic MTR products in the Territory.

Leveraging off China Grand Pharma’s capabilities and infrastructure in China, Telix will enter a significant oncology market, and by partnering with Telix, China Grand Pharma will build on its pipeline of innovative products for Greater China, as well as its strategy in Nuclear Medicine.   

The material terms of the partnership include:

Therapeutic Products

  • US$25M (~AU$35M) up-front non-refundable prepayment to Telix, to be credited against future regulatory and commercial milestone payments.

  • Up to US$225M (~AU$315M) in regulatory and commercial milestone payments to Telix, across Telix’s existing therapeutic products portfolio.

  • Program-related investment estimated at up to US$65M (~AU$90M) for clinical costs associated with the development of the therapeutic products in the Territory, to align with Telix’s global clinical development programs.

  • Royalties on therapeutic product sales in the Territory, in addition to milestone payments.

Imaging Products

  • Exclusive commercial partnership (sales, marketing, distribution) for Telix’s core imaging product portfolio:

    • TLX250-CDx (89Zr-Girentuximab) for renal cancer, and;

    • TLX591-CDx (68Ga-PSMA), TLX599-CDx (99Tc-PSMA) for prostate cancer.

Strategic Equity Investment

Additionally, China Grand Pharma will make a simultaneous one-time strategic equity investment of US$25M (~AU$35M) in Telix. The investment is in the form of a private placement to China Grand Pharma of 20,947,181 fully paid ordinary Telix shares representing a post-issue holding by China Grand Pharma of 7.62%. Shares will be issued at a price of AU$1.69, based on the 10-day volume-weighted average price (‘VWAP’) for Telix shares up to and including 28th October 2020. Shares will be issued no later than November 06 2020, following receipt of the placement proceeds. Shares issued to China Grand Pharma are subject to a holding lock and will not be able to be traded for a period of 12 months from the date of issue. In addition, China Grand Pharma is subject to a standstill provision and is unable to trade in Telix shares for a period of 12 months.

Telix Pharmaceuticals CEO, Dr. Chris Behrenbruch stated, “Telix’s mission is to be a leading global oncology company and China is an important future market for our products. We are pleased to be working with China Grand Pharma to deliver our diagnostic imaging and therapeutic products to cancer patients in China. Considering the successful acquisition of Sirtex Medical Limited with joint venture private equity partner CDH Genetech Limited2 and subsequent approval of a New Drug Application filing for SIR-Spheres® by the National Medical Products Administration (‘NMPA’) of the

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China shows off rapid lockdown system after latest outbreak

By Cate Cadell

BEIJING (Reuters) – Days after a 17-year-old girl tested positive for COVID-19 in a remote part of western China last week, health authorities said they had tested over 4.7 million people in the region.

China’s strict formula of immediate lockdowns and mass testing even at the first signs of infection has been vital to its success in controlling the disease, allowing its economy to quickly recover from the crisis, officials say.

The highly orchestrated strategy – described as “overkill” even by its own proponents – is unique among major economies at a time when Europe and the United States are facing a massive surge of new cases and often chaotic policies.

At the time the girl was diagnosed, the Kashgar region of Xinjiang had reported no new cases for almost 70 days.

“China has taken the most comprehensive, strictest and most thorough control and prevention measures since the COVID-19 pandemic started,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday.

“The facts show China’s measures are effective.”

Key to the programme are factors unique to China, including the Communist Party’s tight grip on all aspects of society.

Authorities have unimpeded access to personal information as part of an expansive surveillance network, which has played a major role in tracing infections.

The government has also quickly enlisted the help of businesses, which are churning out tens of millions of test kits, and tightly controls their pricing and distribution, issues which have severely set back efforts to contain the disease in other countries.

China has reported just 2,382 cases since June. By contrast, Germany and France are set to follow Italy and Spain back into partial lockdowns, as Europe reported a record 230,000 cases in one day earlier this week, while U.S. cases are set to hit 9 million soon.

MASS TESTINGS

In August, Beijing ordered all major hospitals in the country to offer testing, and said there should be one urban testing base constructed for every million residents, with the capacity to scale up to 30,000 tests a day in a local outbreak.

Regions are also required to share resources, in sharp contrast to the early days of the outbreak, when several cities were accused of stealing equipment from each other.

The system, like all Chinese Communist blueprints, is highly structured around specific targets; testing teams should be able to complete a campaign within seven days.

Earlier this month, almost 11 million test results were delivered in around five days in the eastern port city of Qingdao. In Wuhan, the initial epicentre of the pandemic, over 9 million samples were taken over 10 days in May.

The mass testings are mandatory. Some are held in outdoor sporting venues and city parks, with hundreds of people lining up.

PUTTING PEOPLE AT EASE

Epidemiologists have called into question the efficacy of the mass testing events, noting some patients require multiple tests over time to return a positive result.

The tests in Kashgar this week revealed around 38 positive cases

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Organised ‘overkill’: China shows off rapid lockdown system after latest outbreak

BEIJING (Reuters) – Days after a 17-year-old girl tested positive for COVID-19 in a remote part of western China last week, health authorities said they had tested over 4.7 million people in the region.

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin speaks during a news conference in Beijing, China July 27, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

China’s strict formula of immediate lockdowns and mass testing even at the first signs of infection has been vital to its success in controlling the disease, allowing its economy to quickly recover from the crisis, officials say.

The highly orchestrated strategy – described as “overkill” even by its own proponents – is unique among major economies at a time when Europe and the United States are facing a massive surge of new cases and often chaotic policies.

At the time the girl was diagnosed, the Kashgar region of Xinjiang had reported no new cases for almost 70 days.

“China has taken the most comprehensive, strictest and most thorough control and prevention measures since the COVID-19 pandemic started,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday.

“The facts show China’s measures are effective.”

Key to the programme are factors unique to China, including the Communist Party’s tight grip on all aspects of society.

Authorities have unimpeded access to personal information as part of an expansive surveillance network, which has played a major role in tracing infections.

The government has also quickly enlisted the help of businesses, which are churning out tens of millions of test kits, and tightly controls their pricing and distribution, issues which have severely set back efforts to contain the disease in other countries.

China has reported just 2,382 cases since June. By contrast, Germany and France are set to follow Italy and Spain back into partial lockdowns, as Europe reported a record 230,000 cases in one day earlier this week, while U.S. cases are set to hit 9 million soon.

MASS TESTINGS

In August, Beijing ordered all major hospitals in the country to offer testing, and said there should be one urban testing base constructed for every million residents, with the capacity to scale up to 30,000 tests a day in a local outbreak.

Regions are also required to share resources, in sharp contrast to the early days of the outbreak, when several cities were accused of stealing equipment from each other.

The system, like all Chinese Communist blueprints, is highly structured around specific targets; testing teams should be able to complete a campaign within seven days.

Earlier this month, almost 11 million test results were delivered in around five days in the eastern port city of Qingdao. In Wuhan, the initial epicentre of the pandemic, over 9 million samples were taken over 10 days in May.

The mass testings are mandatory. Some are held in outdoor sporting venues and city parks, with hundreds of people lining up.

PUTTING PEOPLE AT EASE

Epidemiologists have called into question the efficacy of the mass testing events, noting some patients require multiple tests over time

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health

He got a coronavirus vaccine in China, but had to keep it secret. Why?

The oil company worker wondered why he had to keep his vaccination a secret. Questions raced through his head as he read the confidentiality agreement, which threatened he would be disciplined if he told anyone outside company management about the COVID-19 shot he was waiting to get.



a man wearing a hat: An employee inspects syringes of the coronavirus vaccine produced by Sinovac at its factory in Beijing. (Ng Han Guan / Associated Press)


© (Ng Han Guan / Associated Press)
An employee inspects syringes of the coronavirus vaccine produced by Sinovac at its factory in Beijing. (Ng Han Guan / Associated Press)

What if something went wrong? Who would take responsibility? The worker knew the vaccine maker, China National Biotec Group — part of the state-owned pharmaceutical group Sinopharm — was conducting trials of this vaccine on hundreds of thousands of volunteers in the United Arab Emirates, Peru, Morocco and other countries.

“At least they’re in a monitored, controlled situation,” he said of those trials, watching as hundreds of his co-workers lined up around him to get their injection at a clinic in Beijing. “But for us, they can’t make any guarantees. This is us making a sacrifice for the nation.”

The employee — who did not give his name for fear of reprisal — is one of hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens who have received COVID-19 vaccines before they have been proved safe in clinical trials. China’s military began getting vaccinations in June. Medical workers and employees of state-owned companies working abroad were soon included in an “emergency use” program. In September, a China National Biotec executive said 350,000 people outside clinical trials had already received the vaccine.

Early vaccinations of high-profile people have become a way to show trust in China’s medical system after a 2018 scandal in which children were exposed to faulty vaccines for diphtheria and tetanus.

In March, images of Chen Wei, a military general and epidemiologist leading one of the coronavirus vaccine efforts, were widely shared by social media users, praising her for receiving an injection before it had been tested on animals. Yin Weidong, chief executive of biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, told reporters last month that he was one of the first to take the vaccine after it passed the first two trial phases. About 90% of Sinovac’s employees have voluntarily taken the vaccine early, the company said.

This month, China National Biotec Group reportedly began offering free vaccines to Chinese students planning to go abroad, according to a company website that was later taken down. More than 93,000 people had signed up for the free vaccine, the website said. Students who had been vaccinated also spoke to local and foreign media about their experiences. But state media later reported that the free vaccine offer was “not real.”

Several cities in Zhejiang province have also reportedly begun offering vaccines made by Sinovac. In Yiwu city, Chinese media found a clinic offering vaccination shots for about $30 each on a “first come, first served” basis. Most of those receiving shots were people planning international travel, though they did not have to prove it, according to local reports.



A technician works in a lab at Sinovac Biotech in Beijing on Sept. 24, 2020. The lab is working on a potential coronavirus vaccine. (Kevin Frayer / Getty Images)


© (Kevin

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The Latest: China Says Latest Outbreak Appears Contained | World News

BEIJING — Officials in the northwestern China region of Xinjiang say they believe they have contained the country’s latest coronavirus outbreak.

Xinjiang reported 23 new confirmed cases Thursday, all involving people who had initially tested positive but displayed no symptoms. It was the second consecutive day in which newly confirmed cases emerged entirely among such people.

Officials say that development appears to show new infections have been curbed in Kashgar prefecture, where the outbreak appeared Saturday. They say all the cases seem to be linked to a garment factory that employs 252 people and has since being sealed off.

More than 4.7 million people in Kashgar have been tested for the virus.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— US plans to buy initial antibody doses from Eli Lilly

— Task force member Giroir: Cases, hospitalizations, deaths up in US – not just testing

— President Emmanuel Macron announces second national lockdown in France starting Friday. German officials agreed four-week partial lockdown.

— Belgium and Czech Republic top Europe’s highest number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 citizens, ahead of hotbeds France and Spain.

— Love blossoms amid pandemic for two TikTok creators in Los Angeles, using goofy dance videos, heartfelt vlogs and affirmations.

— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Officials in Anchorage, Alaska, say the city is on a “dangerous path” as coronavirus cases rise and are urging people to avoid gatherings and follow orders to wear masks in public.

Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson says she has been meeting with business leaders, health officials and others to make decisions that protect health but also impose minimal restrictions so businesses can stay open.

The mayor says that “none of us wants another hunker-down” order.

The city’s health director says that after months of dealing with the pandemic, some people may have let down their guard. She says people should stay home except to get food, exercise outside or go to work. She says it is important to wear masks and social distance in public and to avoid contact with those at higher risk for severe illness.

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota health officials are warning against traditional Halloween festivities amid the recent rise in coronavirus cases statewide.

Officials say that instead of traditional trick-or-treating and indoor haunted houses, people should look to lower risk activities like carving pumpkins and decorating homes or holding virtual gatherings.

he state’s infectious diseases director said Wednesday that warmer weather this weekend may encourage outdoor gatherings, but cautioned against disregarding health guidelines with virus infections rising steadily.

Officials reported 1,916 new coronavirus cases and 19 new COVID-19 deaths. Daily case counts statewide have exceeded 2,000 three times in the past two weeks, and the state has reported more than 1,000 new daily cases for the last 21 days.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Medical professionals in Iowa are expressing concerns that a surge in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations could overwhelm medical facilities if

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You Can Now Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in China. That Might Not Be a Good Thing

CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS
CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS

A staff member works during a media tour of a new factory built to produce a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at Sinovac, one of 11 Chinese companies approved to carry out clinical trials of potential coronavirus vaccines, in Beijing on September 24, 2020. Credit – Wang Zhao–AFP/Getty Images

Li Shurui didn’t hesitate. Faced with putting his life on hold indefinitely or the risk of catching COVID-19 by returning to university in the U.K., the 22-year-old business student decided to roll up his sleeve and receive an experimental coronavirus vaccine.

Two injections made by Beijing Kexing Biological cost 2,000 rmb ($300) at the private Taihe Hospital in the Chinese capital. The treatment still hasn’t passed final (Stage 3) clinical trials but is already being offered to the public on a first come, first served basis. Anyone can turn up, pay their money and get the jab. Li says hundreds were queuing to get immunized at the same time as him.

“I’m a little worried about side effects but more worried catching the virus overseas,” Li tells TIME. “But I haven’t had any problems from the jabs so far.”

It’s not just the Kexing vaccine on offer in China. An unofficial vaccine rollout is gathering pace despite the warnings of international public health experts. In September, state-owned SinoPharm revealed that hundreds of thousands of Chinese had already taken its experimental COVID-19 vaccines as part of a state initiative to protect frontline health workers and officials traveling to high-risk nations. In the eastern manufacturing hub of Yiwu this week, hundreds of people queued for a $60 dose of the CoronaVac vaccine made by private firm SinoVac.

Read more: ‘We Will Share Our Vaccine with the World.’ Inside the Chinese Biotech Firm Leading the Fight Against COVID-19

“This is insane,” Adam Kamradt-Scott, associate professor specializing in global health security at the University of Sydney, says of China’s gung-ho vaccine rollout. “It is just unsound public health practice. We have previous examples of where vaccines that have not gone through sufficient clinical trials have demonstrated adverse reactions with long-term health consequences.”

As the coronavirus pandemic approaches its 11th month, with over 40 million cases and 1.1 million deaths globally, longing for a miracle cure becomes more desperate. But the consequences of a vaccine misstep could also be dire. In 1976, a rushed campaign to immunize millions of Americans against swine flu subsequently resulted in a small proportion developing chronic fatigue syndrome and helped spark the modern anti-vaxxer movement. Handing out a pre-approval vaccine without sufficient monitoring of efficacy and health of participants risks stoking public misinformation.

Read more: How an Election-Year Vaccine Rollout in 1976 Backfired

What’s more, since COVID-19 cases are so low in China, Stage 3 trials—when the vaccine is given thousands to see how many become infected, compared with volunteers who received a placebo—can only be conducted overseas. There have also not been any “challenge” trials where scientists deliberately expose vaccinated volunteers to the virus to test immunity. (Although controversial,

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