23:30 GMT03 April 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Chinese scientists have begun a recruitment drive for volunteers to take part in clinical trials to test the safety and effectiveness of newly developed vaccines for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Wang Junzhi, a scholar at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said during a press conference on Tuesday.

    “There are some work units that made rapid progress in the development (of vaccines) and have submitted applications for clinical trials to the National Medical Products Administration. They began discussions on various clinical trial plans and the recruitment of volunteers. They will move forward upon receiving approval from the National Medical Products Administration,” Wang remarked.

    Research groups across the globe are racing to develop a vaccine against the disease that has already been contracted by more than 180,000 people worldwide.

    On Monday evening, the US National Institutes of Health announced the start of a clinical trial for a vaccine at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. According to a press release, 45 healthy adult volunteers aged 18 to 55 years will be recruited for the trial, and the first participant received an injection earlier in the day.

    The World Health Organisation has registered a total of 41 potential COVID-19 vaccines currently in development across the world, according to a document published on Friday.

    Research groups have received funding both from governments and individuals in the race to develop a safe vaccine. Jack Ma, one of the co-founders of Alibaba Group, donated 100 million yuan ($14.2 million) through his foundation in late January to support vaccine research. In March, Ma also announced a donation of 3.2 million Australian dollars ($1.92 million) to an institute in Australia currently working towards developing a vaccine.

    Tags:
    research, development, vaccine, COVID-19, coronavirus, China
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