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Uzbekistan begins phase 3 trials of Chinese vaccine

Uzbekistan begins phase 3 trials of Chinese vaccine
Photo: Andijan Regional Government

Uzbekistan on Thursday said large-scale trials of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine would begin this week among its population.

Vaccine maker Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical has delivered 3,000 doses of the vaccine and 3,000 placebos to the Central Asian country for phase 3 testing, the Uzbek innovation ministry said in a statement.

The trials involving 5,000 adults will begin on Friday.

Innovation Minister Ibrokhim Abdurakhmonov and Deputy Minister Shakhlokhon Turdikulova received the vaccine last month along with members of their families, a ministry spokeswoman told AFP.

Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical won approval from the Chinese authorities for first-phase human trials of its vaccine in June.

Phase 3 trials are also planned for Indonesia, Pakistan and Ecuador, a Zhifei press release said in November.

Zhifei's founder Jiang Rensheng has seen his personal worth triple to $19.9 billion this year according to an annual Chinese rich list published in October.

Uzbekistan, a country of around 34 million people, in September placed an order for 35 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.

The country has recorded 74,498 coronavirus cases with 71,740 recoveries and 611 deaths.