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Bangladesh approves late-stage trial of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine candidate

Thu, 27th Aug 2020 16:27

By Ruma Paul

DHAKA, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Bangladesh has approved a
late-stage trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by
China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd in the hope of being a
priority recipient for the jab, the health minister said on
Thursday.

The state medical research agency had given ethical approval
to the Phase III trial last month, and now the government has
signed off on the research.

The approval comes after Bangladesh said this month it was
also ready to hold trials of potential COVID-19 vaccines
developed by India as it seeks to stem the spread of the
pandemic.

"We have given permission after examining all necessary
research protocols," Bangladesh's Health Minister Zahid Maleque
of the Sinovac trial.

"We have already applied to the WHO (World Health
Organization) to get the vaccine on a priority basis," the
minister said.

The trial, to be conducted by the International Centre for
Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), will begin
soon, Maleque said.

The trial will involve 4,200 volunteers and half of them
will be vaccinated, health officials said.

Bangladesh had 304,583 confirmed coronavirus cases as of
Thursday, with 4,127 deaths.

Indonesia and Brazil are also helping with the Phase III
trial as Sinovac has been looking for volunteers outside China
where the number of coronavirus cases has dwindled.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul;
Editing by Alison Williams)

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