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Coronavirus

China's lead in coronavirus vaccines raises concern as well as hope

Government-led medical sparks worries over safety and diplomatic clout

A nurse administers China's Sinovac vaccine, a potential vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), to volunteer in Brazil.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- China has emerged as a leader in novel coronavirus vaccines, a development that will enhance it as a global power but also raises concerns over safety and the potential for Beijing to use its status in territorial disputes.

The country has nine vaccine candidates in clinical trials, including five in Phase 3, the final stage of the process toward approval. This achievement is the result of years of state-led research on infectious diseases. Last week, Chinese drugmaker CanSino Biologics announced it would conduct a Phase 3 trial in Saudi Arabia with 5,000 volunteers.

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