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The New Arab Staff

Saudi Arabia to conduct third phase of clinical trial for Chinese coronavirus vaccine

Nearly 730,000 people have died from Covid-19 worldwide [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 August, 2020

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More than 5,000 participants in Saudi Arabia will take part in the third stage of a clinical trial for a Chinese vaccine, the ministry said.
Saudi Arabia has launched clinical trials for a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus, the health ministry announced, as part of cooperation with a Chinese company.

Work is underway to implement a clinical trial for the third stage of the vaccine, which was developed by a Chinese company called CanSino and has already gone through first and second phases of the trial in China, the official SPA reported.

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.

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".

Saudi Arabia has recorded 287,262 cases of the coronavirus, with 3,130 deaths from the infection.

Read also: Popular Saudi TV doctor admitted to hospital with coronavirus

Saudi Arabia has suffered from continued low oil prices, worsened by decreased demand due to the coronavirus crisis.

The epidemic has also forced the kingdom to enforce widespread lockdowns, further hurting the private sector.

Saudi Arabia has reported huge losses of $29 billion for the second quarter of 2020, as the kingdom suffers from continued low oil prices and lockdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Both oil and non-oil sectors were hit by the economic crisis with the kingdom facing a deep recession this year, according to Reuters.

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