China is taking the lead in the global competition to develop vaccines for the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus and get them into the clinical trial stages.

According to China's Ministry of Science and Technology, at least 10 different types of SARS vaccines are under development–four of which, developed by Canada and the United States, will go into clinical trials by the end of this year. Vaccines developed by France and Austria will likely go the same stage next year. Preliminary clinical trials on a SARS vaccine developed by Chinese scientists are already underway. Giving China the lead in the race to develop and test a vaccine, the drug entered trials in January, the ministry said.

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