Mexico to begin clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine “Patria”

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    FILED - A health worker prepares a syringe with a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in this illustrative shot from February 19, 2021. Photo: -/TPG via ZUMA Press/dpa
    FILED - A health worker prepares a syringe with a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in this illustrative shot from February 19, 2021. Photo: -/TPG via ZUMA Press/dpa

    Mexico plans to begin phase 1 clinical trials of “Patria,” a locally-developed vaccine against the novel coronavirus, the National Council for Science and Technology said Tuesday.

    Phase 1 trials on humans follow initial testing on animals, and will be carried out between April and May with around 100 volunteers aged 18-55 who are completely healthy, said Maria Elena Alvarez-Buylla, director of the council, at a press conference.

    “We have the participation of scientists of the highest level, from both national and international universities,” said Alvarez-Buylla, who was accompanied by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and health authorities.

    The “Patria” vaccine has already demonstrated its effectiveness against the COVID-19 epidemic in pre-clinical tests on different species of animals, such as mice or pigs, Alvarez-Buylla said.

    If the vaccine passes the phases of clinical trials in humans, it could be ready for use by the end of 2021, said Alvarez-Buylla.

    Participating in the vaccine’s development are the Mexican Social Security Institute, the National Polytechnic Institute and privately-owned laboratory Avimex.

    Mexico, which has COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreements with several global pharmaceutical firms, launched its vaccination drive against the virus in December.

    So far, the country has registered more than 2.2 million COVID-19 infections and over 200,000 deaths from the disease, the third-highest pandemic death toll in the world after the United States and Brazil.

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