France is looking for volunteers to test a possible Covid-19 vaccine

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Gilles Bloch, head of health institute National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) this week told the press service FranceInfo: “There is extraordinary work carried out by the scientific community and the industrial community. Ideally, we could have a vaccination [ready] in the middle of winter.He continued, “We can be reasonably optimistic because we have trials that are in phase three. [the phase before being sold on the market]. These trials involve thousands of healthy volunteers, which allows us to ensure efficiency and safety. ”

Clinical trials on the project should start very soon in France. Inserm has launched a recruitment platform to seek health volunteers, “so that we can host large-scale trials in France,” said Mr. Bloch.

The goal is to recruit “tens of thousands of volunteers,” he said.

The race for the vaccine across the globe has at times seemed political, with Russian President Vladimir Putin suggesting his country was ahead in the battle from the start.

His statement was later tempered by the World Health Organization, which said it was a premature judgment, while the medical journal The Lancet later called for “clarifications” to the study.

US President Donald Trump also said the United States is “very close” to finding a vaccine and that it could be available by the end of the year. However, Dr Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert and director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said that could be considered rather “optimistic.”

Progress of the vaccine in France?

In France, President Emmanuel Macron also said there may be a “good prospect” that a vaccination will be ready in the coming months.

A Covid-19 vaccine is currently being tested at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, but overall, France has been seen as “lagging behind” in the global race, compared to other projects in the United States and in the UK, where pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is currently working with the University of Oxford.

Read more: President Macron hopes for a vaccine against the 2020 virus in France

Read more: Paris tests on humans but France is late in the vaccine race

More recently in France, Professor Stéphane Paul, member of the Covid-19 vaccination committee on the government advisory body the Scientific Council, told the press service BFMTV: “At present, there are nine possible vaccines in the phase 3 testing phase, which precedes the ‘commercialization’ phase.

“We hope to have the first results for four of these vaccines, probably by November, for efficacy tests.”

In Montpellier, the local pharmaceutical company MedinCell launched this week (Tuesday, September 29) its first clinical trial in human patients, using the antimalarial ivermectin as a possible protection against Covid-19. Previous test-tube studies have shown that the drug reduced the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 by 99.98% within 48 hours.

A vaccine has been hailed as the first step in stopping the spread of Covid-19, as it should mean that social distancing and barrier methods will no longer be as necessary and people will be better protected against infection.

However, a poll in early September showed that 25% of French people are unlikely to opt for vaccination, even if / when it becomes available.

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