One of China’s COVID-19 vaccine candidates now in late-stage development, named Ad5-nCoV, just received a patent by the country’s authorities. The vaccine candidate “is safe and induces an immune response,” China Global Television Network (CGTN) said on their Twitter page.
The vaccine is a recombinant adenovirus inactivity vaccine co-developed by CanSino, led by Chinese military infectious disease expert Chen Wei.
“The grant of the patent further confirmed the vaccine’s efficacy and safety, and convincingly demonstrated the ownership of its intellectual property rights (IPR),” said CanSino in a statement.
Patenting China’s COVID-19 vaccine would “facilitate the marketing process” according to Shanghai-based vaccine expert Tao Lina, adding that It would also heighten global market confidence in Chinese-made vaccines as well.
Vaccine nationalism has long been a concern. Some worry that if one nation invents the vaccine first, they will have the first say over its distribution, and a monopoly over its manufacturing. China however has been collaborating with other nations since the beginning with countries like UAE, Brazil, Germany, UK, and even the US.
The World Health Organization has also asked nations to join the ‘Access to COVID-19 Tools’, or ACT program, which would facilitate the funding of open access research, and allow vaccine stocks to be purchased to ensure equitable distribution.
The US has been constantly accusing China of trying to hack and steal research data to boost its own vaccine manufacturing. Chinese experts however rejected these claims, citing that the two countries are taking entirely different approaches to research and development, and so their data would have little use.
Still, the propaganda potential for the nation that releases the vaccine first is immense, and we can only hope that every nation can get what it needs, and leave no one behind. Whether the first Covid-19 vaccine comes from China, the US, Russia or anywhere else, people want the same thing: to be rid of the pandemic once and for all.