Italian COVID-19 vaccine enters human testing phase

On Monday (24 August), an Italian-developed coronavirus vaccine began its first clinical trial as the first volunteer, a woman who said she hopes “to be useful to our country”, received a jab at Rome’s infectious disease hospital known as Spallanzani.

The vaccine’s first tester will now be monitored for 12 weeks to check whether it causes any side effects or produces antibodies.

The researchers only selected those who were in perfect health, though 5,000 people applied for the trial, which is being financed by the Lazio region and Italy’s research ministry and being produced by Italian biotech firm ReiThera.

“Today, a historic phase in research begins,” said Lazio’s governor Nicola Zingaretti.

Doctors explained that they hope to produce the vaccine by next spring. “Having an italian vaccine means not being a slave or servant of other countries which will say ‘me, first,’’’ said Giuseppe Ippolito, Spallanzani’s scientific director.  (Valentina Iorio |

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