First coronavirus vaccine clinical trials to begin in Belgium
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First coronavirus vaccine clinical trials to begin in Belgium

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The first clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine is set to begin in Belgium after regulators gave the go-ahead to German pharmaceutical company CureVac.

The company received approval to test its candidate vaccine for the new coronavirus (Covid-19), and expects to have initial results in around two months’ time, DW reports.

The trial will be carried out in Germany and Belgium and will involve 168 candidates in good health aged between 18 and 60 years old, the company said in a statement.

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The trials aim to determine the “optimal dose as well as to evaluate the safety and immune profile of the vaccine in humans,” CureVac said.

Announcing the approval, Belgium’s Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products, said that the trial would consist of progressively upping the vaccine dose in order to identify the safest dosage for the desired immune response.

CureVac’s efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine drew global attention following reported attempts by US President Donald Trump to buy the vaccine for exclusive use in the US, prompting the German government to step in.

CureVac’s trial is one of two set to be launched so far in Belgium, and the eleventh trial for a Covid-19 vaccine launched since the onset of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organisation.

In early June, Belgian pharmaceutical company Janssen Pharmaceutica announced through its parent company, Johnson & Johnson that it would begin trials for a coronavirus vaccine in July, four months earlier than expected.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times