Dhaka, Aug 5 A Chinese firm Synovac Biotech has applied for the third phase clinical trials of vaccine against COVID-19 in Bangladesh, secretary of Health and Family Welfare Ministry Abdul Mannan said.
Bangladesh will get the benefit of getting the vaccine, he added.
It might take at least six months for the Chinese company to administer the vaccine to the general population of Bangladesh, officials said. The vaccine will be first administered to health workers aged 18-59.
Sinovac Biotech Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company, had stated on June 1, the company is 99 per cent sure that its COVID-19 vaccine, called CoronaVac, will work.
Sinovac has already received approval from the Chinese government authorities to conduct both Phase I and Phase II human clinical trials in China. The company has made significant progress in the development of CoronaVac.
The Phase I clinical trial, which evaluated the safety, tolerance, and preliminary immunogenicity of the COVID-19 vaccine, commenced in April.
The company recently published pre-clinical results regarding CoronaVac, noting that the vaccine candidate was safe and provided protection to rhesus monkeys through an animal challenge study.
After preliminary observation of the safety profile of CoronaVac in the Phase I study, Sinovac began conducting Phase II trial in May that involved more than 1,000 volunteers. The Phase II clinical trial evaluated the immunogenicity and safety of the vaccine in a larger population in order to define dosage, regimen, and immunization schedule.
Sinovac has secured $15 million in funding to accelerate its COVID-19 vaccine development and is constructing a commercial vaccine production plant that is expected to produce up to 100 million doses annually.
According to a report by Sky News, when Luo Baishan, a researcher at Sinovac, was asked by their reporter whether he thought the vaccine would be successful, he said, "Yes, yes. It must be successful, 99 per cent (sure)."
( With inputs from IANS )