Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Gao Fu said he had been injected with an experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidate, media reported Tuesday.
Gao, 59, revealed the news at a forum jointly held by Alibaba Health and Cell Press on Sunday. He said the move was intended to enhance the public's confidence in vaccines amid spreading sentiment against immunizations, which has led to conspiracy theories and attacks on scientists.
Gao did not release details surrounding the injection, including when and where he got injected or what the candidate is.
Gao is one of the authors of a report on an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate, BBIBP-CorV, published in Cell magazine in June.
The candidate induced high levels of neutralizing antibodies titers in mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits and nonhuman primates (cynomolgus monkeys and rhesus macaques) to provide protection against SARS-CoV-2, according to the report.
Gao is also one of the leaders of the research and development of a recombinant protein vaccine jointly developed by the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Anhui Zhifei LongKema Biopharmaceutical Co, which was approved by national authorities to enter clinical trials on June 19.