Coronavirus Vaccine Trials Underway by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain


Sarah Peddie

Plans to conduct a phase 3 vaccine trial produced by a Chinese company for Covid-19 will get underway in Saudi Arabia and another is currently being tested by Bahrain. 

The vaccine being tested in Saudi Arabia was developed by the Chinese company CanSino Biologics and the trial will require at least 5,000 volunteers.

Last month, the company was in talks with several countries like Russia, Brazil, Chile and Saudi Arabia to conduct a phase 3 trial for the potential vaccine. 

The vaccine itself is made of a harmless cold virus called adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) to deliver genetic material from the coronavirus into the body. The study will compare Ad5-nCOV to placebo.

The study will take place in various cities across the kingdom including Riyadh, Mecca and Dammam.

Bahrain is also conducting a phase 3 trial of a different Chinese developed vaccine in the UAE. The vaccine produced by Sinopharm will be conducted by G42 Healthcare - an artificial intelligence company in Abu Dhabi.

The trial will involve around 6,000 volunteers from Bahrain and will be carried out over a period of 12 months. 

The trial was approved by the National Health Regulatory Authority following the success of phase 1 and 2 of the trial in China. 

The Sinopharm vaccine passed the first and second phase without causing harmful side effects and it produced antibodies in all volunteers within two days of getting the dosage. 

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