CORONAVIRUS/Colombia to include Taiwan COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trial

09/15/2021 03:49 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Buenos Aires, Sept. 14 (CNA) The Colombian government has announced an upcoming large-scale international clinical trial of coronavirus candidate vaccines sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the country, including a COVID-19 vaccine made by Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp.

In response, Medigen said Wednesday in Taipei that it was not informed of the announcement ahead of time and was still confirming the Colombia National Food and Drug Surveillance Institute (INVIMA) statement with related authorities. The company said it will issue a public statement after it has more information.

In an official announcement made by INVIMA on Monday, Colombian authorities have approved the clinical research protocol for the start of the project called "Vaccine Solidarity Trial."

In the initial stage, Colombia will participate in the randomized international trial of candidate vaccines with two vaccines: one made by Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp, and another developed by U.S-based Inovio Pharmaceuticals, according to INVIMA.

The trial will recruit 40,000 volunteers aged 16 and older in Colombia who live and or work in places with a high risk of coronavirus infection, such as healthcare and front-line workers. The trial will last approximately 15 months, according to INVIMA.

More COVID-19 vaccine candidates are expected to be tested during the trials, which are set to have 120,000 participants worldwide, it said.

Colombia was chosen from among 20 candidate countries worldwide, and one of the six countries in the Americas to participate in the clinical trials, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador and Mexico.

Medigen's vaccine is the only domestically made COVID-19 vaccine granted emergency use authorization by Taiwan's Food and Drugs Administration.

As of Monday, a total of 718,191 doses of the Medigen vaccine have been administrated in Taiwan.

To date, 48.6 percent of Taiwan's 23.5 million population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine since the rollout began on March 22.

(By Huang Yun-ju, Chang Liang-chih and Joseph Yeh)

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