On March 17, Reuters reported that China has given approvement for researchers to begin human safety tests of an experimental coronavirus vaccine to fight against COVID-19. The virus has caused more than 80,000 people ill and 3,245 deaths in China. In the US, more than 5,000 people are infected so far.
Researchers at China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences, which is affiliated to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), received approval to launch early-stage clinical trials of the potential vaccine starting this week, the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily reported on Tuesday.
In the “Phase 1” test, researchers will examine whether experimental shot is safe in humans. They plan to recruit 108 healthy people to take part between March 16 and December 31.
Experts at the World Health Organization say they do not expect any fully tested and approved vaccine to reach the market until the middle of next year.
Meanwhile in US, drugmaker Moderna said on Monday that the first batch of its vaccine against the coronavirus is ready for the government to start testing on humans. The clinical trial is expected to begin with 20 to 25 healthy subjects by the end of April to evaluate the vaccine's safety and efficacy against infection. The first results can become available as early as in July, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
However, it could also take a year for the Moderna vaccine to clear regulatory hurdles and become widely available.
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