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Health

France to enrol 25,000 in COVID-19 vaccines clinical trials

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

PARIS (Reuters) - France called for 25,000 adult volunteers on Thursday to enrol in a series of large-scale clinical trials aimed at evaluating the safety and efficacy of several COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

The Phase II and III trials, which could start as soon as this month, will take place at 24 hospitals across the country. Volunteers are invited to register online.

There is currently no internationally approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, which has killed over 1 million worldwide.

France’s public research body Inserm, which is in charge of the project, did not name the vaccines that would be assessed and said it was currently holding discussions with drugmakers, adding it would pick the “most promising” candidates for the trials.

More than 150 potential vaccines are being developed around the world and tested to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, with 38 in human trials, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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