Chinese researchers launch phase-2 human test for vaccine

Small bottles labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration taken taken April 10, 2020.
Small bottles labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration taken taken April 10, 2020.
Image: Dado Ruvic

Chinese researchers have started a second phase human trial of a possible coronavirus vaccine, the Institute of Medical Biology at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS) said on Sunday, in efforts to further assess effectiveness and safety.

About a dozen vaccines are in different stages of human tests globally, as the World Health Organisation warns the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating and “the world is in a new and dangerous phase”.

However, none of the vaccine trials have passed large-scale, late-stage phase 3 clinical trials, a necessary step before getting regulatory approval for sale.

The academy on Saturday began a phase-2 human test for its experimental shot, which is among six possible vaccines Chinese scientists are testing in humans, after an ongoing phase-1 study that has recruited about 200 participants since May, it said on Sunday.

The phase-2 trial will determine the shot's dose and continue to evaluate whether the potential vaccine can safely trigger immune responses in healthy people.

The academy said it expected to use a plant dedicated to producing a coronavirus vaccine this year to prepare for China’s future vaccine supplies.

As early as by the end of 2020, certain groups of people with special needs can use experimental vaccines under urgent circumstances, Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention director Gao Fu said last month.

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