The Minister of Health, Juan Carlos Zevallos, announced that they managed to negotiate for between 5.000 and 9.000 Ecuadorian volunteers to participate in the clinical trial of the Chinese vaccine against COVID-19. «This is a very well organized trial, from a scientific point of view,» he said.
At a press conference on the morning of December 28, 2020, the minister mentioned that the Chinese vaccine is in phase 3; that is, in the experimentation stage with people to know if it is effective or not.
It will be the first trial of its kind to be carried out in the country. Although he did not detail dates of its start or when the doses will arrive. It is only known that they would come in January, as reported. The application process for volunteers who wish to participate in the trial is also unknown.
«It will allow us to assess whether the circulating viruses, the 25 identified in Ecuador, are protected by this vaccine, in this phase,» added Zevallos. At the moment, they still detail some aspects of the negotiation between both nations.
Regarding the arrival of the 50 thousand doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the minister also did not give a specific date and mentioned that they will arrive in January. In addition, he said that they already have a list of the sites where the vaccines will go, which will be the hospitals that have treated COVID-19 cases, both public and private, at first.
He mentioned that they continue to pressure the World Health Organization (WHO) for the COVAX initiative, the Global Access Fund for Covid-19 Vaccines, to which they have already advanced part of the money to be delivered the doses. They are also in talks with the makers of the Moderna vaccine, AstraZeneca and the Chinese Sinovac.
Finally, he assured that, until December 27, 2020, the country has not registered the new variant of COVID-19, detected in the United Kingdom. Out of 200 tests sent to Germany between June and October, this mutation was not detected. He indicated that it has not been detected in a couple of dozens of viruses evaluated at the National Institute for Public Health (INSPI), as well as in other evaluations made in Universities.