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China says coronavirus traces found in vaccination sites, but not infectious

China says coronavirus traces found in vaccination sites, but not infectious

A man walks at a vaccination site before receiving a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Beijing, China on Jan 15, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

BEIJING: China has found harmless traces of the coronavirus in some COVID-19 inoculation sites potentially linked to vaccine liquid, its disease control centre said.

Samples taken from tables, walls, doorknobs and hallways of the sites tested positive for the virus but were not infectious, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) said in a statement late on Sunday (Jan 24).

The traces had identical genome sequences as the strain found in used vaccine vials but were different from the strains currently spreading, China CDC said.

Inactivated vaccines contained relatively complete nucleic acid snippets of the virus and were not infectious, it added.

Inactivated vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech are being used in China's vaccination scheme.

Benjamin Cowling, an infectious disease expert from the University of Hong Kong, confirmed the possibility of contamination in the sites from vaccine liquid and said such virus traces were "nothing to worry about".

Staffers in contaminated vaccination sites had tested negative for the virus, China CDC said.

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Source: Reuters/dv

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