Pakistan launches phase 3 trials of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine

Islamabad, Sep 22 (efe-epa).- Pakistan on Tuesday launched the phase 3 trials of a possible vaccine against the new coronavirus developed in China, which will be administered to more than 8,000 volunteers, after the country’s drug regulator approved carrying out the clinical testing.

“The trials have been launched from today and 8,000 to 10,000 volunteers would be inducted through a formal system in 4 to 6 weeks,” Aamer Ikram, the executive director of the National Health Institute, said in a press conference.

Aamer said that the vaccine’s results were expected in three months and if it approved, the antidote could be available in the market in around five or six months.

The trials are set to test the vaccine candidate Ad5-nCoV, jointly developed by Chinese company CanSino Biologics, the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology and the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences

The trials in Pakistan are being carried out under the supervision of the National Health Institute, in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company AJM Pharma – a local representative of CanSino – in three hospitals and a medical university.

The vaccine candidate arrives in Pakistan after it began to be administered to the Chinese military in late June, as the second phase of clinical trials had reportedly shown that it was safe and induced an immune response against the coronavirus.

As many as 4 Chinese vaccine candidates are currently undergoing phase 3 clinical trials, including the one developed by CanSino and three others launched by Sinovac, Sinopharm and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products respectively.

Sinovac had said on Thursday it would start clinical trials for its potential Covid-19 vaccine on adolescents and children at the end of the month after testing on adults yielded “positive findings.”

According to latest data, Pakistan has witnessed a sharp drop in coronavirus cases after hitting an infection peak in June.

As of Tuesday, the country had registered over 306,000 Covid-19 cases and a total of 6,424 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, with just 4 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. EFE-EPA


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