Over 400 volunteer for coronavirus vaccine trials in Belgium

Over 400 volunteer for coronavirus vaccine trials in Belgium
© Janssen Pharmaceutica

Over 400 volunteers in Belgium have already signed up to take part in clinical trials for a potential Covid-19 vaccine, set to begin in July.

The vaccine trials by Janssen Pharmaceutica were announced in June, and are set to take place in Belgium and in the US.

The Belgian pharmaceutical company is seeking to carry out the tests on 1,045 healthy adults aged 18 to 55, as well as adults over 65, the firm's parent company, Johnson & Johnson, said in a press release on 10 June.

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On June 13, researchers in Ghent said that hundreds of volunteers had already signed up for the trials, a response which they said was unusual so early-on and which they attributed to the high-anticipation for a vaccine against the deadly virus.

Despite the large response from volunteers, the companies are still looking to sign up more potential participants, De Morgen reports.

"Some are bound to drop out," Janssen Pharmaceutica spokesperson, Tim De Kegel, told the outlet, which reports that many of the volunteers signed up so far have never participated in a drug trial.

Volunteers to the trial will be examined to ensure they are healthy and will receive up to €1,500 in compensation, according to De Morgen.

The vaccine trials will be randomised and double-blind, meaning neither the participants nor the researchers will know whether they are using a placebo or the candidate vaccine.

The first phase of the trial, which was originally set to begin in September but was sped up to begin in the second half of July, will evaluate the safety of using the candidate vaccine on test subjects', as well as the matters immune responses to it.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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