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Third Phase of Human Trials for Coronavirus Vaccine Underway in Peru

A woman buys a sandwich near the Clinical Studies Center of the Cayetano Heredia University, where volunteers lend themselves to test an experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical Sinopharm, in Lima, Peru, Sept. 9, 2020.

The third phase of human trials for a vaccine against the coronavirus is underway in Peru.

On Wednesday, Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm began testing about two dozen people, with the long-term goal of vaccinating a total of 6,000 people between the ages of 18 and 75.

The participants will receive one of three injections, consisting of a virus strain from Wuhan, China; a Beijing strain; or a saline water placebo.

The Associated Press reports the Peruvian government is in talks with six laboratories to determine the best course to buy the vaccine.

Peru is one of the hardest-hit countries by the coronavirus in Latin America, with more than 696,000 COVID-19 infections and more than 30,000 deaths.

So far, Sinopharm has given 30,000 doses to volunteers and another 10,000 participants have received double doses in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Additional testing is planned for Morocco and Argentina.