Chilean health authorities say they have approved the initiation of clinical trials of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac of China and the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company Janssen. The tests, commissioned by the Institute of Public Health (ISP) of Chile, will be performed by government health workers and researchers from two Chilean universities, authorities said.
A man works in the packaging facility of Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech, who is conducting trials of the preventive vaccine run by Covid-19, during a government-organized media tour in Beijing.
At the site where trials were halted after one of the participants had a health problem, the pharmaceutical company AztraZeneca, also applied to begin research in Chile.
Brazil, Chile, Peru and Colombia are the countries with the highest rates of virus infections in South America. These countries become attractive testing sites for vaccine developers because it is easy to obtain reliable test results in areas with high rates of transmission and infection.
Chile’s Health Minister Enrique Paris said: “Chile can and must participate in phase III clinical trials to approve research and hopefully move forward in the development of these vaccines.”
A large-scale phase III clinical trial could be the last step before a drug or vaccine is submitted for regulatory approval. Enrique Paris said Chile signed the COVAX global vaccine plan agreements with two laboratories “able to access at least 34.5 million doses of vaccine after they have been approved by the respective agencies.” .
These clinical trials could take up to two years, starting in about 2-3 weeks in the capital Santiago and many other Chilean cities, authorities said.
Chile has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, with more than 462,000 reported cases and 12,741 deaths due to Covid-19.
Huong Giang (Source: Reuters)