China has started the first phase of a clinical trial for a novel coronavirus vaccine, records show, as the world’s scientists race to find a way to combat the deadly pathogen.
It comes after US health officials said last week they had started a trial to evaluate a possible vaccine in Seattle.
Google launches coronavirus website
The Chinese effort began on March 16 – the same day as the US announcement – and is expected to continue until the end of the year, according to a filing in the country’s Clinical Trial Registry, dated March 17.
“Volunteers of the COVID-19 phase one trial have already started receiving the vaccine,” a staff member involved in the government-funded project told AFP on Sunday.
The 108 participants, aged between 18 and 60, will be tested in three groups and given different dosages. They are all residents of the central city of Wuhan – where the new coronavirus first emerged late last year.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages and governments step up protection measures, pharmaceutical companies and research labs around the world are working at full tilt.