Current Chinese COVID-19 vaccines can offer protection against the mutated variants found in India, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday.
Shao Yiming, a leading physician-scientist and immunologist at the China CDC, said at Thursday's press conference that China is studying the mutated variants found in India and collecting data from the study.
"Related Chinese institutions have studied the variants, and preliminary results showed current Chinese vaccines can offer protection against them," Shao said.
The coronavirus is in a constant process of mutation, and existing vaccines may not offer protection for future variants, "we can produce new vaccines simply and quickly without changing the techniques," Shao said, noting that the new virus just needs to be added in production.
"Chinese authorities are closely tracking the virus, and as soon as there are mutated variants that the existing vaccines can't deal with, we will have new vaccines available," Shao said.
In a recent case, five Chinese travelers were confirmed to be infected with variants detected in India after returning from Vietnam.
The five cases were confirmed to be positive during their quarantine, which started on April 28 in Pingxiang, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, after returning from Yên Bái, Vietnam, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The World Health Organization has labeled the mutation identified in India as "a variant of global concern," which shows that it may be more transmissible, more likely to cause infections and more resistant to current vaccines.