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SAMAA TV anchor volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine trials

You too can become a subject

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 16, 2020 | Last Updated: 5 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 16, 2020 | Last Updated: 5 months ago
SAMAA TV anchor volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine trials

Photo: SAMAA TV

SAMAA TV anchorperson Muhammad Shoaib has volunteered for the third phase of the clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by a Chinese company.

In September, Islamabad and Chinese biotech CanSino Biologics agreed on administering Pakistanis the Adenovirus Type 5 Vector vaccine (Ad5-nCoV). The agreement says that China will cover 20% of Pakistan’s population for free if the vaccine bears fruit.

Around 40,000 people will participate from Russia, Chile, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and 8,000 to 10,000 will be from Pakistan.

Primary trial sites in Pakistan include:
• Aga Khan University Hospital (Karachi)
• Indus Hospital (Karachi)
• Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and the University of Health Sciences (Lahore)
• University of Health Sciences (Lahore)
• Shifa International Hospital (Islamabad)

On Tuesday, Shoaib witnessed firsthand the procedure of receiving the vaccine. These are the steps that you have to follow if you choose to volunteer for trials:
• Register yourself at the facility’s vaccine trials unit
• Sign a consent form after a consultant okays your participation
• Your vital signs (body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, blood pressure) will be noted
• Medical history will be asked
• Blood sample will be taken
• If you are declared a healthy subject, then the vaccine will be administered
• The subject will be put under observation for half an hour before they are allowed to head home

Afsana, a coordinator at the trials unit, said volunteers will be asked about their health condition for a year.

If you get sick or treated for any disease, you will have to inform the hospital. Your facility will keep a check on you via texts and calls.

After a year, volunteers will have to report to the hospital. Their blood sample will then be taken to see the results.

The final results will come after a year, but the vaccine’s efficacy can be determined in the next three to five months.

Who is excluded from the trials?

Afsana said people on heavy medication can’t be a part of the trials as their fluctuating vitals make it difficult to keep note the changes in someone’s health after administering the vaccine.

For example, diabetics whose sugar levels fluctuate despite taking insulin can’t participate because their changing sugar levels and blood pressure can affect the readings.

People who haven’t contracted the virus are the best subjects for us to find how high the vaccine’s efficacy is, she added.

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