File photo: People await to receive medical attention, outside the emergency area at Alberto Sabogal Hospital in Lima, on May 27, 2020.. (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP)
Peru on Wednesday began registering volunteers for clinical trials of a Chinese vaccine against the coronavirus.
Six thousand volunteers, who must be aged between 18 and 75 and not have contracted the virus, will be recruited by Cayetano Heredia and San Marcos universities via a dedicated website.
“The universities will select 3,000 volunteers each,” San Marcos rector Orestes Cachay told reporters.
The vaccine, being developed by Chinese company Sinopharm, will be administered by injection.
According to Peruvian researchers in charge of the clinical trials, two strains of the virus — the Wuhan strain and Beijing strain — and a placebo will be randomly given to volunteers.
“A technical team from China will arrive in the coming days, totalling 38 people, to implement the operational part of the project,” Cachay told TV channel N.
The trial is expected to last until December
President Martin Vizcarra announced last week the country would participate in clinical trials of vaccines being developed in China, Britain, the United States and Germany.
Peru, with a population of 33 million, has the third-highest number of deaths from the pandemic in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. Per capita, it has the region’s highest death rate, with 843.5 deaths per million inhabitants.
More than 28,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the country, which has registered more than 600,000 infections so far.