Islamabad, September 22
Pakistan on Tuesday announced the launch of the phase-III clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by a Chinese company.
Minister of Planning Asad Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC)—a centralised body set up to coordinate the national COVID-19 response, said about 8,000 to 10,000 Pakistanis will participate in the trials.
The vaccine is being developed by China’s CanSino Biologics and Pakistan is among the seven countries which will carry out the phase-III trials.
“Just launched the phase 3 trials for a COVID-19 vaccine in Pakistan. Vaccine has been developed by a Chinese company. A total of 40,000 people will participate in this trial in 7 countries, of which 8 to 10, 000 will be Pakistani,” Umar tweeted.
Initial results are expected in four to six months, he added.
The NCOC in a statement said that Pakistan’s National Institute of Health (NIH) had partnered with CanSino to carry out the phase-III trials on humans.
Trials for phase 1 and 2 were held in China, it said.
The NIH Executive Director Maj Gen Aamer Ikram termed it an important step for Pakistan to become a part of the trial. PTI