Thirty Chinese volunteers to receive SARS vaccine test

Chinese scientists will select 30 volunteers to receive clinical tests for developing a vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), said sources with China's SARS vaccine research team.

The team has drawn up an implementation plan for the clinical research of a SARS vaccine. The first phase will last for three months in either Beijing, south China's Guangdong Province or neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The volunteers will comprise 15 men and 15 women aged from 18 to 40. The volunteers should pass medical examination and clinical observation.

They will be vaccinated only after signing an agreement, said the team leader. Their body temperatures should not be higher than37 degrees centigrade before vaccination.

The vaccine was found safe and effective in experiments on animals, including the rhesus monkey. The first phase test aimed to see if it was safe and effective on the human body.

There were still risks, said the team leader. The vaccination might cause minor adverse effects such as low fever and pain. But these symptoms could disappear naturally without medical treatment.

A committee would be set up to protect the rights of the volunteers, who could participate or withdraw from the test at will.

Researchers would provide medical treatment if they suffered any ill effects, said the team leader.

On the other hand, volunteers should follow the researchers' instructions and the requirements of the research program.

Under the implementation plan, the second phase of clinical testing will have more participants from a wider age range.

Since last year's outbreak of SARS, Chinese scientists have worked to find an anti-SARS vaccine and China has taken the lead in this field.

In 2003, more than 8,000 people in 32 nations and regions were infected by SARS and 900 died of the disease.



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