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Ghent University Hospital starts large-scale testing of CureVac vaccine

Ghent University hospital has started large-scale testing of the coronavirus vaccine that has been developed by the German pharmaceuticals company CureVac. At least 400 people will take part in the tests. Unlike the vaccines developped by Pfizer and Moderna, the CureVac vaccine doesn’t need to be stored at very low temperatures. CureVac says that its vaccine can be stored safely in a normal fridge. Moreover, the vaccine is cheaper that the coronavirus vaccine produced by Pfizer. 

However, unlike the Prizer and Moderna vaccines, the CureVac vaccine is not yet ready to apply for approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Before this is the case the CureVac vaccine requires further tests to scientifically prove its effectiveness and safety.

Some of these tests are being carried out at Ghent University’s Centre for Vaccinology. The centre will look at the efficiency of the vaccine and at any side effects that it might have. The Phase 2b tests are being carried out on 4,000 volunteers worldwide.

Half of those taking part will be given the CureVac vaccine and the other half a placebo.

Once Phase 2b has been completed, Phase 3 of the testing will start. This will involve 32,500 people worldwide.

The European Union has already ordered 225 million doses of the CureVac vaccine. Subject to its approval by the EMA 2.9 million will be destined for the vaccination programme here in Belgium.

In January the Ghent centre will start a Phase 3 study on Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine.  

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