Rolling Out the 4th Shot! Coviccine® the 1st “COVID-19 Vaccine Booster” Administered in Chengdu
On the morning of January 13, 2023, Coviccine®-Recombinant COVID-19 Vaccine (Sf9 cell) developed by WestVac Biopharma and West China Hospital of Sichuan University was first administered as a sequential booster following 3 doses of inactivated vaccine at the Northern Vaccination Site of Fangcao Community Health Service Centre in Chengdu High-Tech Industrial Development Zone, Sichuan Province.

Early that morning, a long queue formed for residents came to get “the fourth shot” of the COVID-19 vaccine. Having heard that the fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was available for sequential immunization, many residents rushed to get the extra protection as soon as possible.

According to Bai Lin, Head of EPI Section at the Fangcao Community Health Service Center in Chengdu High-Tech Industrial Development Zone, since the official launch of “the fourth shot” of the COVID-19 vaccine, the center has received many inquiries from residents. Bai Lin explained that people should first check his/her eligibility for vaccination: “for example, whether the interval between the second booster dose and the first booster dose is less than 6 months, whether you have recently been infected with COVID-19, whether you have recently had any acute diseases, etc., if yes, you may not be eligible for the second booster dose for now. In addition, it is important to pay attention to personal protection and wear a mask throughout the vaccination process." She also reminded the public that it has been cold these days, but it’s better to wear some loose clothes for the convenience of vaccination.

After vaccination, the antibody level in the body will generally decrease over time. But with a booster dose, the body will produce the antibodies again more quickly and to a higher level, providing better protection against COVID-19 infection, especially for the prevention and protection of moderate, severe and death cases. With increased risks of COVID-19 infection and higher population mobility in the upcoming Chinese New Year, it is essential for the high-risk groups to get a second booster shot in a timely manner. “According to the Immunization Schedule for Second COVID-19 Booster Dose, the 2nd booster dose should be taken for people at high-risk groups, elderly people aged 60 years and older, people with serious underlying health conditions, people with weakened immune systems, and have at least 6-month gap period between the first and the 2nd booster dose.” said Li Shuangqing, Director of the Department of General Practice at West China Hospital of Sichuan University.

How should one choose among the various booster vaccination strategies? Director Li Shuangqing gave his answer: "the Immunization Schedule specifies that in terms of vaccine selection for the 2nd booster dose, priority should be given to sequential booster vaccination or Omicron-specific vaccine or vaccine that can induce good cross-immunity to Omicron variant. A sequential booster means that the vaccine product used for the fourth dose differs from that used for the first three doses. Some clinical trials on sequential booster vaccination have shown that heterologous booster vaccination resulted in longer, broader and more durable immune response, which are some of the key reasons why the national authority is promoting sequential immunization for the 2nd booster dose."

Director Li Shuangqing commented that Coviccine®-Recombinant COVID-19 Vaccine (Sf9 cell) being administered at Fangcao Community Health Service Centre, is a recombinant COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by West China Hospital of Sichuan University and WestVac Biopharma with good cross-immunity to SARS-CoV-2 variants such as Omicron. As a booster in the sequential immunization following 3 doses of inactivated vaccine, Coviccine® can induce a higher level of antibodies in the human body, demonstrating its strengths in protecting people at high-risk groups, elderly people aged 60 years and older and people with underlying health conditions from infection. Also, this vaccine has shown a good safety profile and tolerability in sequential booster vaccination and is currently one of the recommended vaccines for sequential immunization. Residents could feel free to get vaccinated.

“I feel nothing after the shot, but more at ease now.” Mrs. Zhang, a local resident was sharing her experience relaxedly after receiving Coviccine®-Recombinant COVID-19 Vaccine (Sf9 cell), “I came here for a shot today after hearing that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by West China Hospital of Sichuan University and WestVac Biopharma was available.”

Coviccine®-Recombinant COVID-19 Vaccine (Sf9 cell) is first administered in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, the birthplace of its R&D and production, It represents the official launch of the first Chinese recombinant COVID-19 vaccine of good cross-immunity to SARS-CoV-2 variants such as Omicron in the market. It is reported that Coviccine® will also be available soon in the vaccination sites in Sichuan, Yunnan and other cities and provinces across the country. WestVac Biopharma and West China Hospital of Sichuan University join forces to fight against the COVID-19.