At least 20,000 volunteers in Ecuador will participate in tests of three vaccines against COVID-19 starting in November, in a WHO project involving the Ministry of Health and the San Francisco de Quito University (USFQ).
The professor at that university, Enrique Terán, told Efe that the volunteers who are part of the WHO clinical study, called “Solidarity Vacunas”, must undergo a prior health evaluation to ensure that they are in the proper conditions for the application of the doses.
The investigator noted that, as this is an initial efficacy and safety study, The participation of people who have already been previously infected with the coronavirus is not recommended.
“This analysis tries to focus on the group most affected, that is, young adults between 20 and 50 years old,” he said.
The USFQ, together with the Public Health Portfolio, will begin the recruitment phase starting next October in Quito and Guayaquil, cities with the highest rate of infections nationwide, with more than 23,000 and 13,000 positives, respectively.
After the final presentation of the protocol with the study guidelines, its approval is in the hands of the National Agency for Regulation, Control and Sanitary Surveillance (ARCSA) and the ethics committees, before proceeding with their implementation.
Once the project begins, those who participate in the study on the experimental vaccines will be monitored by those in charge of the research.
At the express request of the WHO, it is not yet possible to know the three vaccines that will be tested in Ecuador, since the international Organization negotiates their supply with direct manufacturers.
However, Terán indicated that the doses to be tested in the country “are in their most developed state and are in phase three of execution in some countries.”
Last March, the WHO started this great clinical trial worldwide in order to find the most effective treatment for COVID-19.
Since last June, the USFQ and the Government have been in contact with representatives of the World Health Organization so that Ecuador can be part of the clinical trials that are currently being carried out worldwide.
Regarding the tests in the framework of the “Solidarity Vacuna” campaign, the director general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom, indicated that the project “is designed to generate the solid data that we need, to show which treatments are the most effective.”
The Ecuadorian Ministry of Health is expected to rule on the matter in the coming days.