Pakistan regulators have approved final-phase testing of a Chinese-made vaccine against the coronavirus, officials said Tuesday, in the country’s first ever clinical trial of its kind.
According to Pakistan’s National Institute of Health (NIH), regulators have approved the testing of a vaccine under development by CanSinoBio and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology China.
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The medication is already undergoing Phase 3 trials - or large-scale testing on humans - in China, Russia, Chile and Argentina. Saudi Arabia will also take part, NIH said.
“This will be the first ever Phase 3 clinical trial for any vaccine in Pakistan,” the NIH said in a statement.
Pakistan’s inclusion in the trials would help it secure “preferential vaccine supply and pricing,” it added.
The trials will be conducted at several medical facilities across Pakistan, including the large Indus Hospital in Karachi.
“Hopefully we will come out with the vaccine within three to four months,” Abdul Bari, who heads the Indus Hospital, told AFP.
The coronavirus has claimed more than 6,000 lives in Pakistan but cases have been dropping for several weeks.