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Indonesia: Chinese vaccine trial volunteer gets virus

Whether volunteer received potential vaccine or placebo remains unknown, says clinical trial team leader

Nicky Aulia Widadio   | 11.09.2020
Indonesia: Chinese vaccine trial volunteer gets virus

JAKARTA

A clinical trial volunteer for a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Indonesia tested positive for the virus, said the trial team leader on Friday.

The vaccine is developed by a Chinese company, Sinovac Biotech, and imported to the country by the state-owned Bio Farma.

Kusnandi Rusmil, the head of the trial and research team from Padjadjaran University, said in a statement that the infected volunteer has been put in isolation under strict supervision.

"After nine days, the volunteer’s condition seems to be good," said Rusmil, without specifying the volunteer’s gender.

He said the volunteer, after receiving the first injection for the trial, traveled out of town.

“The volunteer was declared healthy upon returning from the trip and then received the second injection,” said Rusmil.

However, he added, due to their travel history, the volunteer was required to take COVID-19 test by the local health authority and tested positive for the virus.

Rusmil said he was unable to confirm whether the volunteer was injected with a potential vaccine or a placebo.

“As we conduct the trials under blind observer principle, we cannot identify who gets the vaccine and who gets the placebo,” he added.

Volunteers who were injected with placebo would be compared to those who were injected with the potential vaccine to determine its capability to build immunity.

Rusmil went on to say that the volunteers’ immunity against the virus would be formed after the second injection.

"Clinical trial volunteers will still have their health monitored for six months after the last injection," he said.

The team is conducting Phase 3 of the clinical trials, which started in early August to last six months.

At least 450 volunteers have been injected with a potential vaccine or placebo.

* Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency's Indonesian language services in Jakarta.

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