Coronavirus vaccine trial shows promising results ahead of Canadian tests

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An early trial of a prospective COVID-19 vaccine that will soon be tested on Canadians has found it to be safe and effective at prompting an immune response.

A study published Friday in the Lancet says the formulation from China’s CanSino Biologics Inc. needs more trials to determine whether it can actually protect against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

But it says early trials involving 108 adults in Wuhan produced neutralizing antibodies and a response in T-cells, which protect the body from pathogens, after 28 days. The most common side effects — described as “mild” and “moderate” — were pain at the injection site, fever, fatigue and headache.

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The findings land just before researchers at Dalhousie University test the CanSino product in Halifax in the upcoming weeks.

Dalhousie says Canada’s first clinical trial for a potential vaccine will start with fewer than 100 people between the ages of 18 and 55. A followup stage will involve almost 500 people across Canada, including those aged 65 to 85.

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