Coronavirus vaccine developed in China shows promise after early study in 100 people

A potential coronavirus vaccine developed in China appeared safe and able to generate an immune response after an early trial in more than 100 people, according to a new study.

The vaccine, called Ad5-nCoV, is being developed by the Chinese company CanSino Biologics, and was one of the first coronavirus vaccines to enter early human trials back in March. Now, there are more than 100 different coronavirus vaccines in development worldwide, with at least eight of those in the process of human trials.

Ad5-nCoV uses a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) — which infects human cells but doesn't cause disease — to deliver a fragment of genetic material from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This genetic material provides instructions for making the "spike protein" on the surface of SARS-CoV-2. The idea is that a person's immune system will create antibodies against the spike protein, which will help fight off the coronavirus if the person is later exposed to it.