Germany OK’s First Clinical Test of Virus Vaccine

Two hundred healthy young volunteers will test an experimental vaccine against Covid-19 in Germany

The German company Biontech and U.S. company Pfizer have been cleared to test a Covid-19 vaccine on 200 volunteers in Germany. (AP file photo/Ted S. Warren)

BERLIN (AFP) — Germany has authorized its first clinical test of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the country’s regulatory body said Wednesday, greenlighting trials on human volunteers for an RNA vaccine developed by German firm Biontech and U.S. giant Pfizer.

“The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut… has authorized the first clinical trial of a vaccine against Covid-19 in Germany,” the regulatory body PEI said in a statement. 

The trial, only the fourth to be authorized worldwide, is a “significant step” in making a vaccine “available as soon as possible,” the institute said.

It said that approval was the “result of a careful assessment of the potential risk/benefit profile of the vaccine candidate.”

The trials will see “200 healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 55 years” vaccinated with variants of the RNA vaccine, while the second phase could see the inclusion of volunteers who belong to high-risk groups. 

Neither PEI nor the developers specified when the trial will begin, though Biontech claimed in a statement that it would be “soon” and “ahead of our expectations.” 

The PEI said that “further clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine candidates will start in Germany in the next few months.”

© Agence France-Presse

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