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Coronavirus vaccine tested in Yucatan with as many as 2,000 volunteers

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China-based CanSino Biologics is testing a coronavirus vaccine in Yucatan, where up to 2,000 volunteers will be selected. Photo: Courtesy

Clinical trials for a possible coronavirus vaccine have begun with up to 2,000 volunteers in Yucatan.

CanSino Biologics had already started testing its coronavirus vaccine candidate in late-stage human trials in Pakistan, Russia, Argentina and Chile, the Chinese pharmaceutical company said.

Yucatan state officials on Monday announced its strategic alliance with the Merida-based research institute Köhler & Milstein.

The head of the Yucatán health ministry, Mauricio Sauri Vivas, said that Yucatan is well suited for the trial because it is home to “the best doctors in the region and a large number of competent researchers.”

Only volunteers 18 or older and without serious chronic diseases are included in the trial. They will be monitored for a year after receiving the vaccine.

CanSino agreed in October to supply 35 million doses of the vaccine to Mexico. Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna have also announced experimental vaccines, according to interim data from large trials.

The candidate Ad5-nCoV, which goes by the trade name Convidecia, uses a harmless common cold virus to carry genetic information of the coronavirus’ protein to elicit immune responses.

Two previous phases of the trial showed a high safety profile and a robust immune response of 90% against the virus.

The news came as Yucatan announced a seventh consecutive day of infections that exceeded 100 patients. Three fatalities and 121 new coronavirus cases were reported late Monday during a health ministry briefing.

Sources: Reuters, SSY

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