The National Institute of Health in Islamabad has approved phase III clinical trials in the country for a coronavirus vaccine developed by China.
Permission for the trial was granted by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan on Monday. Trials will be carried out at the Aga Khan Medical University, Indus Hospital Karachi, Shaukat Khanum Hospital, University of Health Sciences Lahore and Shifa International Hospital Islamabad.
The study will be conducted by the country’s major medical institutions, the NIH spokesperson said. An agreement had been signed between the NIH and a private company for the clinical trials.
This will be the first phase III clinical trial for any vaccine in Pakistan, added the spokesperson.
Trials were earlier held in China, Russia, Chile and Argentina and will also begin in Saudi Arabia soon, the spokesperson said. The Clinical Trials Organisation has also approved this move.
China approved human trials for two experimental COVID-19 vaccines in April. These were developed by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products of China National Pharmaceutical Group and Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech.
The first vaccine, developed by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, completed the first phase of clinical trials in March.