The World Health Organization has announced that the first vaccine trial for COVID-19 has begun.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director-General and head of WHO, shared the news to reporters on Wednesday, saying that the trial began just 60 days after the genetic sequence of coronavirus was shared.
“The first vaccine trial has begun, just 60 days after the genetic sequence of the #coronavirus was shared. This is an incredible achievement.
We commend the researchers around the world who have come together to systemically evaluate experimental therapeutics”-@DrTedros #COVID19
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 18, 2020
Adhanom explains that small trials may not give clear cut evidence about which treatment would be most effective. Rather, WHO and its partners will be “organizing a study in many countries” to compare a number of untested treatments against each other.
“This large, international study is designed to generate the robust data we need, to show which treatments are the most effective,” he says.
The Director-General says that this kind of study is called a solidarity trial and “provides simplified procedures to enable even hospitals that have been overloaded to participate.”
Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and Thailand have already confirmed that they will participate, with more countries expected to join.
More to come…