Saudi Arabia to Begin Clinical Trials for a Covid-19 Vaccine |

Saudi Arabia to Begin Clinical Trials for a Covid-19 Vaccine

The kingdom is preparing to take part in advanced clinical trials of one or two Covid-19 vaccines

Posted on

22 September 2020

Last updated on 22 September 2020
Saudi Arabia to Begin Clinical Trials for a Covid-19 Vaccine

The Ministry of Health has been working with two pharmaceutical companies to evaluate whether the developing vaccine is effective

The King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC) in Saudi Arabia confirmed that they are ready to join in advanced trials of one or two Covid-19 vaccines.

Initially, there were 40 potential vaccines being tested on humans. Out of this number, nine vaccines passed and moved to its third stage of trials.

The centre is preparing to work with the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) and participate in tests of one or two of the nine vaccines that are currently in the third phase of trials.

This is the advanced stage where large-scale testing on humans can be evaluated for their effectiveness and safety.

“Approval or disapproval of any drug normally follows the third stage of its clinical trials, which is the last stage. Since the pandemic, KAIMRC has been in continuous contact with a number of drug companies in four countries (that are developing vaccines)," said Dr. Naif Al-Harbi, the head of KAIMRC’s drug development team, in an interview with Al Ekhbariya TV news channel.

To have nine vaccines in its stage three trials so soon, in less than a year after the emergence of a new virus, has never been done before, he continued.

Covid-19 vaccine in Saudi Arabia

KAIMRC has been working with two Chinese pharmaceutical companies in the development and assessment of a Covid-19 vaccine.

“Over the past two months, we have been in contact with Sinovac to scientifically evaluate its product, in term of the tests on animals and a study of the results of stages one and two on humans,” Al-Harbi said.

The Ministry of Health is working with the second drug company to determine the vaccine's effectiveness

“We examine the drugs and make sure they have caused no side effects when tested on humans, or that they just caused insignificant side effects,” said Al-Harbi.

"We also look into the manufacturing company’s profile to ensure it follows the standards of the good manufacturing practices, and that the company’s products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards."

At the time of publishing, Saudi Arabia officials reported 492 new Covid-19 cases, 27 deaths and 1,060 recoveries.

The total number of infections in the kingdom now stands at 330,246.