HAVANA, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Cuba on Friday began phase 3 clinical trials of its Abdala COVID-19 vaccine, Marta Ayala, director general of Cuba's Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, told a press conference.
"Three doses will be administered to participants with two-week intervals" in-between, she said, adding that the country has set up 20 clinical sites and more than 40 vaccination centers to keep pace with the trials.
The inoculation of volunteers with the homegrown vaccine candidate is expected to start Monday, four days after the phase 3 trials was approved by the Center for State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices.
The study, which is due to be completed by July, plans to enroll some 48,000 participants aged 19-80 from the eastern provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and Granma.
Cuban started phase-3 clinical trials for its domestically manufactured Soberana 02 vaccine earlier this month.
On Friday, the Caribbean nation recorded three more COVID-19 related deaths and 735 new cases, taking the national counts to 387 and 65,149 respectively. Enditem