Taipei, November 11 (CNA) The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Wednesday that it is recruiting at least 20,000 volunteers to participate in clinical trials of locally developed COVID-19 vaccines
Speaking at the weekly CECC press conference, Minister of Health and Welfare, Chen Shih-zhong (陳 時 中), said that three Taiwanese companies are expected to complete the first phase of testing their vaccines in the coming days, but that it will require a larger group of volunteers during Their transfer to phase II experiments
To help companies achieve their recruitment goals, Chen said, CECC launched a website with the goal of registering at least 20,000 volunteers by the end of November.
CECC consultant, Chang Shan-chwen (張 上 淳), explained that while Phase 1 vaccine trials are testing for safety in a small group of 40-60 volunteers, Phase 2 safety and efficacy testing requires a much larger sample set.
According to guidelines established by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA), phase two COVID-19 vaccine trials must include at least 3,000 participants
On the recruitment site (in Chinese only), volunteers are asked to provide their contact information for randomization to one of the three vaccine developers currently experimenting with – Adimmune Corp, United Biomedical and Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp
Volunteers must be at least 20 years old, or between 12 and 19 years old with permission from a legal guardian, according to the site, and they should not participate if they have a chronic disease, have a weak immune system, have recently had surgery, are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The FDA representative confirmed to CNA that foreign nationals with National Health Insurance Cards are also eligible to volunteer, but confirmed that the screening process will be carried out by the companies themselves
At the press conference, Zhang said that the participants will receive food and transportation subsidies, but he did not say the exact amount.
In the event that there is little chance that anyone in the study will experience a negative reaction, the government will « unconditionally » bear the responsibility for their treatment and compensation, he said.
Taiwan, Central News Agency, Coronavirus
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