Coronavirus outbreak: Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine cleared for human tests

Topics Coronavirus | Pfizer | Health crisis

An old man seen wearing a mask as the global pandemic rages
Pfizer and BioNTech secured approval for Germany’s first human clinical trials of a possible coronavirus vaccine, entering a global race to develop a defense against the pandemic. The trial, only the fourth worldwide of a vaccine targeting the virus, will be initially conducted on 200 healthy people aged 18 to 55 years in the first stage, and on additional high-risk candidates in the second stage, according to a statement on Wednesday.

The companies said they expect to win approval for testing in the US shortly.

“It’s a good sign that the development of vaccines in Germany is at a stage at which we can begin with the first trials,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said. “But it’s important to remember that it will take months before a vaccine will be fully tested and can actually be available.”

Dozens of candidates are being developed in nations from the US to China, with at least three in human testing, according to the World Health Organization. They are from CanSino Biologics and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology; Inovio Pharmaceuticals; and Moderna along with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Human trials of a potential vaccine being developed by Oxford University researchers are set to begin on Thursday, the UK government said.


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