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Chile aims to acquire COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021, says health chief

(Xinhua)    11:00, September 10, 2020

SANTIAGO, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chile is working to acquire a COVID-19 vaccine by the first quarter of 2021, Health Minister Enrique Paris said on Wednesday.

Chile's president, the ministries of Health, Foreign Affairs and Sciences, the Public Health Institute of Chile, and the Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Immunizations are all working so that Chile "can have a vaccine within the period we originally said, that is, in the first quarter of 2021," said Paris.

"The vaccine will be free and will be initially applied to vulnerable groups," he added.

"There are many companies that are testing vaccines, several that are already in phase 3 clinical trials. In fact, in Chile, there are three vaccines that are in phase 3 clinical trials or that are going to carry out their clinical trials here," Paris said, in response to questions concerning the government's target date.

One vaccine is being developed by pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca in conjunction with the University of Oxford, who said on Tuesday they had paused trials of their vaccine after one of the volunteers fell ill.

"It is an expected adverse effect, which occurs regularly. What this patient had is transverse myelitis, that is inflammation of the spinal cord, probably caused by the interaction between the vaccine virus and the spinal cord," Paris told reporters.

Chile registered 1,482 COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, bringing the nationwide caseload to 427,027 since the onset of the outbreak here, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

In the same period, 20 more deaths were reported, taking the death toll to 11,702.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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