BELGRADE – The China National Biotech Group (CNBG) and the company Sinovac Biotech Ltd. announced that additional countries including Serbia as well, have agreed to participate in the third phase of clinical trials of their coronavirus vaccines, N1 reported.
Serbia and Pakistan are among countries that have agreed to participate in the third phase of testing, as Chinese companies are asking for more data from abroad for final approvals of a potential vaccine, as decreasing number of new infections in China makes this country an unsatisfactory place for testing, according to Reuters.
In order to obtain a permit for mass use of vaccines, pharmaceutical companies must prove that they are safe and efficient enough, based on the data collected in the extensive third phase of clinical trials, the agency reminds.
China has already allowed two CNBG vaccines and one vaccine produced by Sinovac to be given to limited groups of people who face a higher risk of infection, such as medical workers.
Both CNBG vaccines will be tested in Serbia, while Pakistan will test a vaccine developed by the Beijing subsidiary of that company, CNBG Vice President Zhang Yuntao stated.
Health minister: Conditions for testing the vaccine are not met
Health Minister Zlatibor Lončar said that the conditions for the Chinese vaccine to be tested in Serbia were not met, reports Nova.rs.
He added that the ministry will inform the citizens when the vaccine “reaches a certain stage and requires to be tested in Serbia”, but also when the vaccine meets all the conditions in the Medicine and Medical Devices Agency in Serbia.
Lončar stressed that Serbia will be among the first to receive a vaccine that is safe and fulfils all conditions.
On the other side, epidemiologist Zoran Radovanović reminded of government’s “spin” when it comes to vaccination against coronavirus.
“At the end of May, Minister Lončar said that Serbia would have a Chinese vaccine in June. Then it was assumed that we would start vaccinating. It was unrealistic, it was clear that the Chinese vaccines, which are otherwise good and advanced technologies, they can have one of the best vaccines, were in the first phase and it was clear that it was unrealistic,” Radovanović said.
Radovanović underlined that now, three months later, instead of the Chinese vaccine, Serbia has an offer for our people to volunteer, because it’s not a vaccination, it’s an experiment.
Radovanović explained that the citizens who want can apply to get a vaccine. At the same time, citizens signed that he is aware of the risk, and the Chinese side is obliged to provide information.
“It is important to the Chinese because they do not have the disease at the moment, and then they have to look for volunteers where it is likely that someone will get infected. They go to areas where the disease is more common so that the protective effect of the vaccine can be noticed sooner,” Radovanović said.
The deputy director of Serbia’s Public Health Institute “Batut” Darija Kisić Tepavčević said that Serbia has intensive contacts with most vaccine producers who are in the final stages of testing.
When asked who will work on determining the safety of the Russian vaccine, noting that President Aleksandar Vučić said that Serbian expert teams would determine the safety of the Russian vaccine, Kisić Tepavčević emphasized that it is important to know that vaccines have made a huge contribution and that the vaccine production process has clearly defined procedures and stages.
Kisić Tepavčević concluded that priority is given to the safety and efficiency of the vaccine, as well as the creation of the longest possible post-vaccination immunity.