Pakistan is conducting clinical trials for the China-made CanSino vaccine for the new coronavirus and needs more volunteers.
Over 10,000 people will be recruited for the study which is supposed to last six months.
We need people from many different backgrounds who we can call on for future studies if we are to find a safe vaccine quickly, said Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr Nausheen Hamid, reported APP.
She asked people to join the clinical trials going on at the Shifa International Hospital in Islamabad.
The trials are in the third phase and free of charge for Pakistani citizens living here. Phase III trials are usually the last stage in the development of a vaccine.
The Indus Hospital in Karachi has also put out a call for volunteers. Media Relations Manager Fawad bin Rashid confirmed this to SAMAA Digital.
Healthy participants are needed, reads a notice from the hospital. Volunteers should be over 18 years, have no history of contracting COVID-19 and ideally have no underlying illness—those whose underlying conditions are controlled are also eligible.
Pregnant, lactating and women planning to be pregnant in the next 90 days after the vaccination cannot take part.
You can enroll by:
You will then be called for screening at the Indus Hospital. A blood sample will be taken. If eligible, you will receive either the vaccine or a placebo, as the trial is randomised. After that the researchers will follow up with on a weekly basis till one year. If you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, loss of smell and taste, you have to agree to be tested.
There might also be mild side effects such as pain at the injection site, fever, fatigue or muscle ache, but they should not last longer than a day or two.
In mid-August, the National Institute of Health in Islamabad had approved phase III clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine developed by China. They would be held at the Shifa International Hospital Islamabad, Aga Khan Medical University, Indus Hospital Karachi, Shaukat Khanum Hospital and the University of Health Sciences Lahore.
Pakistan’s trial is part of main trial of the CanSino vaccine taking place in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The vaccine, called Ad5, was developed by Chinese company CanSino Biologics and the Institute of Biology at the China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences.
It contains a modified form of the adenovirus (cold virus) which will carry the genetic material of the new coronavirus into the cells. Once human cells are exposed to this they will begin making a coronavirus protein and the body’s immune system will recognise the protein and attack it.