Panama began tests with vaccines against COVID-19

Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

Panama started the phase clinical trial 2 of a coronavirus vaccine from German biotech company CureVac AG with 250 volunteers carried out by the Panama COVID-19 Vaccine Research Consortium, reported by experts linked to the study.

The vaccine is part of COVAX, a multilateral mechanism led by the World Health Organization, whose main objective is to promote equitable access of all member countries to vaccines.

The controlled clinical trial will allow evaluating "the safety, Reactogenicity and Immunogenicity ”of the SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine, according to the infectologist, Xavier Sáez-Llorens, who is the principal investigator.

During the next thirteen months the volunteers, adults, will be evaluated by doctors to confirm the safety and proper dosage of the drug, Saez-Llorens stated.

With this, Panama seeks to guarantee in the future timely access to vaccines that are successful after the investigations carried out in different countries that are working to find the vaccine against COVID-19.

Last august, the National Research Bioethics Committee (CNBI) approved the German vaccine study.

"In this phase, will participate 250 people here in Panama. All participants, without exception, they must sign a widely detailed consent prior to the first application of the vaccine ", Saez-Llorens explained.

That way there will be a guarantee that all the questions about the study and the possible risks and side effects were answered satisfactorily., However, the expert clarified that signing the informed consent form does not mean that the volunteer waives any of their legal rights.

The volunteers underwent medical examinations to verify their eligibility, In addition, they are covered by an insurance policy in case any adverse reaction associated with the study vaccine occurs, as there is always the possibility of individual temporary reactions occurring.

The research is developed by the COVID-19 Vaccine Research Consortium formed by the CEVAXIN Research Center and the Institute for Scientific Research and High Technology Services (INDICASAT-AIP) with the endorsement of the National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation (SENACYT).

For its part, the government said that as part of the COVAX mechanism, Panama hopes to access 1.3 million doses of vaccines that will be used for a first phase of immunization aimed at vulnerable groups, and increased exposure to the virus.

The group represents around the 28% of the total population, what includes 42 thousand health workers, 585 thousand adults over 60 years, 85 one thousand members of the security forces, and close to 400 thousand people with chronic diseases.

The Vice Minister of Health, Ivette Berrío indicated that they will only purchase vaccines duly tested and authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

At the same time, the country is making arrangements with pharmaceutical companies from different countries that have managed to advance their studies to phases II or III in order to guarantee vaccines for 4.2 millions of inhabitants.