Aug 12, 2020 16:00 UTC
  •  Iran to begin Phase III clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccine: Minister

Iran’s health minister Saeid Namaki says a home-grown vaccine meant to confront COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus pandemic, is set to begin its third and final trial in the near future.

“The vaccines have nearly passed the human models and we will soon enter the clinical trial stage,” said Namaki on Wednesday, according to remarks published by the official IRNA news agency.

Vaccine developers are supposed to test it on thousands of people, a process commonly known as Phase III trial, before they can get the regulatory approval for the product.

Namaki said in late June that an Iranian version of COVID-19 vaccine had shown promise in tests on animals. His Wednesday announcement showed that human trials of the vaccine have been successful.

The minister said the Iranian vaccine is being developed through a joint venture between Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, the Pasteur Institute of Iran and several start-up companies.

He said, however, that Iran, the worst hit country in the region by COVID-9 with nearly 334,000 confirmed cases, would not solely rely on home-grown efforts to attain a vaccine.

“If the vaccine is supplied in any location (in the world) we would buy it for our citizens,” said Namaki.

Reports in the media have suggested that the international race to develop a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 has accelerated in recent weeks.

Earlier this week, Russia became the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval for a COVID-19 vaccine.