China has begun the first section of a clinical trial for a novel coronavirus vaccine, data show, as the world’s scientists race to discover a way to fight the sometimes lethal pathogen.
It comes after US health officers stated last week they’d started a trial to evaluate a possible vaccine in Seattle.
The Chinese attempt started on March 16—the same day as the US declaration—and is predicted to continue until the year-end, in response to a filing in the nation’s Clinical Trial Registry, dated March 17.
The 108 participants, aged between 18 and 60, will be tested in three groups and given different dosages. They’re all residents of the central city of Wuhan—where the novel coronavirus first emerged in December 2019.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages and government scale protection measures, pharmaceutical firms and research labs all over the world are working at full tilt.
There are currently no approved vaccines or medicine for novel COVID-19 respiratory sickness, which has killed over 15,000 people worldwide thus far.
The vaccine trial announcements come amid an escalating battle between the U.S. and China over the pandemic, with President Donald Trump enraging Beijing by speaking of the “Chinese virus”.