Clinical trials for potential coronavirus vaccine to be conducted by Halifax team

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HALIFAX — The first Canadian clinical trials for a possible COVID-19 vaccine will be conducted by a Halifax research team that also was involved in trials that eventually led to a vaccine for the Ebola virus.

Health Canada has approved trials that will be conducted at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology at Dalhousie University.

The centre’s director, Dr. Scott Halperin, says the lab was one of several in Canada and the U.S. whose work starting in 2014 eventually saw an “emergency release” of an Ebola vaccine that was used in West Africa before a third phase of clinical trials had been completed.

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COVID-19 treatments explained

Halperin said each lab did slightly different studies in order to get the right type of information before quickly moving to the second phase and then the third.

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“The Phase 1 studies were done and within six months the data were available and the phase three studies were started in West Africa which then helped to actually stop the epidemic,” he said in an interview.

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