China Embarks On Clinical Trial For Coronavirus Vaccine
China has started the first phase of a clinical trial for a novel coronavirus vaccine, as the world’s scientists race to find a way to combat the deadly virus.
This is coming after United States health officials last week said they had started a trial to evaluate a possible vaccine in Seattle.
The Chinese effort towards getting a vaccine began on March 16, the same day as the US announcement, and is expected to continue until the end of the year.
This is according to a report in the country’s Clinical Trial Registry, dated March 17.
A staff member involved in the government-funded project told AFP on March 22 that “volunteers of the COVID-19 phase one trial have already started receiving the vaccine,”
The 108 participants selected for the clinical trial are all residents of Wuhan – where the new coronavirus first emerged late last year.
They are aged between 18 and 60, will be tested in three groups and given different dosages.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages and governments step up protection measures, pharmaceutical companies and research labs around the world are working at full tilt.
There are currently no approved vaccines or medication for the new disease, which has killed more than 13,000 people worldwide so far.
However, the US vaccine may take another year to 18 months before becoming available.
An antiviral treatment called remdesivir, made by US-based Gilead Sciences, is already in the final stages of clinical trials in Asia and doctors in China have reported it has proven effective in fighting the disease.