Pakistani physician urges people to volunteer for Chinese Covid vaccine trial

Pakistani physician heading a Phase III clinical trial for a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine candidate has urged people to volunteer. Ejaz A. Khan, who is heading the trial at Islamabad’s Shifa International Hospital, urged people to join hands in order to overcome their hesitance towards immunisation programmes. Pakistan launched the trial last week for Ad5-nCoV, a vaccine candidate co-developed by CanSino Biologics.

It is the first-ever large scale trial in Pakistan, which has grappled with disinformation around other long-established vaccines, and attacks on health workers administering them.

Shifa International, the first of five trial sites in Pakistan, has repurposed a building previously used for Covid-19 testing for the trial, which it hopes will have 2,000 participants. Volunteers arrive by appointment, and are recruited through NGOs, hospitals, and corporations. Volunteers must be over 18, not have tested positive for Covid-19, not have immune deficiencies, and not be pregnant for the duration of the trial. A one-time Rs2,000 compensation for travel and food expenses is provided, Mr Khan said.

Source: Dawn