AMMAN — The Kingdom has started the phase three clinical trial of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine on volunteers at Prince Hamzah Hospital.

The potential vaccine is developed by a state-owned unit of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).

“Prince Hamzah Hospital is the only accredited hospital by the Jordan Food and Drug Administration, since it has the needed experience in the vaccine testing ecosystem, in addition to having a certified board in the clinical and pharmaceutical studies,” Director of Prince Hamzah Hospital Abdulrazzaq Khushman told The Jordan Times on Sunday.

In Jordan, trials would be conducted on 500 volunteers, according to Khushman. Grass-root efforts to address the virus outbreak have attracted about 30,000 candidates in Bahrain and the UAE, with the aim to reach 45,000 volunteers outside China.

“Nearly 50 persons have received the Chinese candidate vaccine at Prince Hamzah Hospital,” Khushman noted. He added that people who are interested in being part of the trial need to be 18 years of age and older and must not suffer from chronic diseases that lead to immune deficiency and must not have contracted the virus. Pregnant women are not eligible for the vaccine trial.

The data released from phase one and two were “promising”. Determining the efficacy and additional side effects of the candidate vaccine in stage three would take about 50 days, the official said.

Furthermore, Khushman said that vaccines are an “insurance policy” against health crises and “those who participate in vaccine trial are contributing to safeguarding the humanity in times of a pandemic”.

In June, Health Minister Saad Jaber said that Jordan has been in close cooperation with China since the beginning of the pandemic, including exchanging expertise.

“The Chinese vaccine is 100 per cent safe and the Kingdom is part of this trial, gearing towards joining the global efforts to initiate the development of a vaccine for COVID-19,” he said.

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