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Hundreds of Belgians volunteer for corona vaccine tests

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Hundreds of candidates have signed up for a clinical test for a vaccine against the coronavirus Covid-19, according to the Ghent university hospital.

As a teaching university hospital, UZ Gent is involved in hundreds if not thousands of clinical tests every year. But this is different.

This is very unusual,” said Professor Isabel Leroux-Roels.

It’s a result of the fact that everyone is waiting for a vaccine, and people want to make their contribution.”

There are two studies under way at the same time: one by Johnson & Johnson via its Belgian arm Janssen Phamaceutica; and another by the German company Curevac.

The trial by Janssen, as we reported earlier, was already programmed for September, but preliminary results suggested the trials could be brought forward.

The result of the call for volunteers has taken the scientists by surprise.

This is totally not usual,” said Prof Leroux-Roels. “This is clearly thanks to the fact that everyone is sitting waiting for a vaccine, and everyone wants to make a contribution.”

As well as the Janssen vaccine, another trial will be carried out on a candidate vaccine developed by the German company Curevac.

For the Ghent tests, some 80 subjects were required, and all those places are taken. The Curevac test needs 133 subjects, each of whom will be vaccinated twice.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times