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Pakistan begins phase three of coronavirus vaccine trials

8,000 Pakistanis have been recruited

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 22, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Posted: Sep 22, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago

Photo: AFP

Phase three clinical trial of the coronavirus vaccine has begun in Pakistan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan announced on Tuesday. 

The vaccine was developed in China earlier this year and proved to be safe and immunogenic.

According to the National Institute of Health Executive Director Major General Aamer Ikram, recombinant technology has been used in the vaccine which produces antibodies against the coronavirus surface protein in the body.

Its pre-clinical trials were done on animals. “The first phase of the trials were conducted on humans to see the vaccine’s safety and efficacy,” the general said, adding that the trials proved to be effective.

In the second phase, the vaccine was tested on around 508 people. “the technology used in the vaccine is similar to Oxford and Astrazeneca vaccines,” he said.

General Ikram explained that a study of the vaccine trials was published in the Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals. The trials are being monitored by the international level consortium in Canada.

The real challenge, however, is phase three of the trials which are more expensive and time-consuming. “We accepted this challenge and are grateful for the patronage of the NCOC and the Ministry of Health,” General Ikram added.

The trials will start today [Tuesday]. Around 8,000 to 10,000 candidates have been recruited for this purpose.

“We expect results in four to six months and see the level of antibodies it produces,” the executive director said, adding that a follow up with being done for 12 months.

In China, the army and police have been administered the vaccine.

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