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Pakistan starts phase 3 clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine

ISLAMABAD: In a significant development, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar announced on Tuesday the launch of phase 3 human clinical trials of a Chinese vaccine for Covid-19.

In a Twitter post, he said the potential Covid-19 vaccine has been developed by a Chinese firm. “A total of 40,000 people will participate in this trial in 7 countries, of which 8 to 10, 000 will be Pakistani,” he said.

“Initial results [are] expected in 4 to 6 months.”

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr. Faisal Sultan, briefing the media alongside the National Institute of Health (NIH) director, said the vaccine would benefit people globally if its human clinical trial yielded better results. He hoped that this vaccine will be safe and effective.

“Pakistan is now listed among the countries conducting clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine,” he maintained, adding the clinical trial of the vaccine will help build the capacity of the country to develop other vaccines against different diseases.

NIH director Major General Aamir Ikram said this is the phase 3 clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine, during which, the vaccine will be administered to 8,000 to 10,000 volunteers in the next four to six weeks.

He said trials are quite safe because the vaccine has already being administered to servicemen in China.

Maj Gen Ikram said it was an honour for the country that it was participating in the phase 3 trial of a vaccine for the first time.

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