Human Trials for Kazakh COVID-19 Vaccine to Start in September

NUR-SULTAN – As the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine continues worldwide, the Kazakh Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems has announced a start date for human trials on the COVID-19 vaccine developed by institute researchers for September. Forty-four volunteers will be recruited for the study. 

Photo credit: biosafety.kz

Preclinical trials will be completed Aug. 20 and the results will be handed over to the Kazakh Healthcare Ministry. 

The second phase will start in October and is expected to last through December. It will involve 200 volunteers.

The official name of the vaccine is QazCovid and it has been included in the World Health Organization’s list of candidate vaccines in preclinical evaluation along with other 139 developments, published July 31. The document also includes a total of 26 candidates currently in the clinical evaluation stage of development.

Seven researchers at the Kazakh institute have tested the vaccine on themselves. The institute said the decision was made to ensure the full epidemiological safety of its researchers that are primarily involved in the development and trials of the vaccine. 

The vaccine allowed researchers to replicate the first and second phases of the planned clinical trials. The researchers have now recovered, reporting no fever or allergies. 

“Biochemical and hematological analysis of the blood and urine is carried out. The ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) method was used to determine the level of antibodies in the blood serum and in the neutralization reaction,” said the institute. 

“If the World Health Organization confirms the results of clinical trials of the candidate vaccine, Kazakhstan will be ready to manufacture the vaccine at the plant currently under construction that is meant to produce immunobiological preparations for the institute. The design capacity of the plant is 60 million doses per year. The construction is expected to end in December,” said the institute.  

The Kazakh institute is part of the Science Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science. It is Kazakhstan’s only state organization that decides on the development of domestic technologies for the manufacture, testing and registration of medical immunobiological medications at the Kazakh Healthcare Ministry.

The institute has an illustrious history of more than 60 years. It has been engaged in the development of threat detection tools and methods, biological safety assessment and the manufacture of diagnostic and preventive drugs, including those against especially dangerous viral diseases found in humans, animals and birds.

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