The vaccine, developed by China’s Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical, will be tested on 5,000 volunteers in Uzbekistan, the report said, citing the Uzbek government. They are between the ages of 18 and 59, and will join the late-stage human trials that are expected to last for a year, Xinhua said.
The Anhui-based pharma firm, a subsidiary of listed Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products, received approval from the local authorities last month to produce a coronavirus vaccine. The trial vaccine has been delivered to Uzbekistan, with Chinese experts monitoring the participants and training Uzbek doctors, Xinhua reported.
Chinese vaccine developers have been forced to find countries where the virus is still rampant to host their final-stage trials because its own outbreak has been largely under control. Geopolitical tensions have led to a politicization of the vaccine race with Beijing striving to advance despite criticism over the pandemic’s origins.
Concerns still loom among international vaccine makers as some encounter issues during late-stage trials. The phase 3 trial of China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. was halted in Brazil due to a serious adverse event, following similar suspensions among some of their U.S. and U.K. competitors.