Beijing – The head of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said he was given an experimental coronavirus vaccine to try to convince people to do the same once they are approved.
“I’m going to reveal something clandestine: I have been injected with one of the vaccinesGao Fu said Sunday at an online seminar hosted by Alibaba Salud, a subsidiary of the Chinese trading giant, and Cell Press, a US publisher of scientific journals. “I hope it works”.
The Associated Press reported weeks ago that a Chinese state company injected employees with experimental vaccines in March, anticipating the official sanction of the human trials, something that experts objected to for ethical reasons.
Gao did not say when or how he received the experimental vaccine, nor did he clarify whether it had government approval. He did not respond to requests for comment.
China is competing with American and British companies to be the first to produce a vaccine capable of ending the pandemic, which would be a scientific and political victory.
The Asian country is one of the strong contenders. Of the twenty vaccines that are in various stages of trial in the world, eight are Chinese, more than any other country.
Gao declined to disclose which of the vaccines he had received because he did not want to give the impression of “doing any kind of propaganda” for a particular company.
Last month, a work by several authors, Gao among them, appeared on a candidate, a “deactivated” vaccine that consisted of raising the entire virus in a laboratory and killing it. That candidate is developed by a subsidiary of the state-owned company SinoPharm.
Gao repeatedly said in his conference that he aspired to greater cooperation between the United States and China, in an exhortation for unity at a time when relations between Beijing and Washington are becoming increasingly strained.
“We don’t want China and the United States to be scientifically separate,” he said. “We have to cooperate.”