Coronavirus vaccine trials

Chinese pharmaceutical firm and the military developed a potential vaccine have been injected to 108 people aged 18-60 from Wuhan.

There may have been diarrhoea, high temperatures and a fair bit of apprehension, but 108 people from Wuhan can proudly say that this week they became the first in the country to be injected with a possible vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

The trials got under way in the central China city on Thursday, just three days after CanSino Biologics – the pharmaceutical company that developed the product in cooperation with the Chinese military – was given the green light by Beijing.

According to information published on China’s clinical trial registry, the volunteers – aged from 18 to 60 and in good health – were divided into three groups of 36 and then given either a low, medium or high dose of the vaccine at a facility owned by the city’s armed police force.

China and the United States are leading the race to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, with Beijing earlier instructing the nation’s military to lend its full weight to the effort.

On the day CanSino was granted approval to start its trial, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Massachusetts-based biotechnology firm Moderna began theirs.

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