Phase 1 trials on humans follow initial testing on animals, and will be carried out between April and May with around 100 volunteers aged 18-55 who are completely healthy, said Maria Elena Alvarez-Buylla, director of the council, at a press conference.
“We have the participation of scientists of the highest level, from both national and international universities,” said Alvarez-Buylla, who was accompanied by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and health authorities.
The “Patria” vaccine has already demonstrated its effectiveness against the COVID-19 epidemic in pre-clinical tests on different species of animals, such as mice or pigs, Alvarez-Buylla said.
If the vaccine passes the phases of clinical trials in humans, it could be ready for use by the end of 2021, said Alvarez-Buylla.
Participating in the vaccine’s development are the Mexican Social Security Institute, the National Polytechnic Institute and privately-owned laboratory Avimex.
Mexico, which has COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreements with several global pharmaceutical firms, launched its vaccination drive against the virus in December.
So far, the country has registered more than 2.2 million COVID-19 infections and over 200,000 deaths from the disease, the third-highest pandemic death toll in the world after the United States and Brazil.