The Saudi ministry of health has announced the launch of clinical trials for a vaccine against the coronavirus (COVID-19), as part of cooperation with a Chinese company.
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the third phase will conduct clinical studies in different countries, including Saudi Arabia, and will be applied to large numbers of volunteers.
The first stage of the study included “a recombinant adenovirus type-5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine” on a total of 108 volunteers in China in March. Later tests on 603 volunteers were conducted between April 11-16, the report added, Al-Arabiya reported.
Both stages showed positive results with little side effects, according to a published study in The Lancet.
In Saudi Arabia, the third phase will see 5,000 healthy volunteers over the age of 18 take part in the trial.
“Research teams will follow up with the participants after giving them the dose to ensure that no side effects appear. The follow-up will be through direct visits with doctors participating in the study,” SPA said.
The experiments will be carried out across Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, Mecca and Dammam. Earlier this month, the UN Human Rights Council stressed the importance of “equitable and unhindered access” to diagnostics, treatments and vaccines, and said any vaccine developed against Covid-19 should be considered a “global public good”.
The death toll from coronavirus reached in Saudi Arabia 3,130 deaths, and the total number of cases rose to 287,262.