Dutch volunteers to start testing coronavirus vaccine in September
A spokesperson for Janssen Vaccines has confirmed that the first Dutch volunteers will receive a coronavirus vaccine in September.
Coronavirus vaccine testing in the Netherlands
The vaccine, which is being developed by Janssen in Leiden, was initially not expected to be tested within the Netherlands due to strict Dutch rules regarding human clinical trials. Phase one of the study is instead being carried out in Belgium and the United States where rules are less strict.
Research leader Hanneke Schuitmaker said that phase one saw volunteers receiving two vaccinations, eight weeks apart, and that phase 2A will investigate whether eight-week interval can be reduced.
Phase 2A will see the vaccine administered to 550 people across the Netherlands, Spain, and Germany with 135 volunteers required in the Netherlands. They will receive the vaccine at the end of September. Each participant will receive a different dose of the vaccine to determine what the possible side effects are and how the human body reacts to the different doses.
When will the vaccine be available to the public?
The true effectiveness of the vaccine will only become clear following phase three of the study. Phase three will be carried out across a range of countries where the virus is still widely prevalent. Some of these volunteers in phase three will be injected with a placebo.
The European Commission plans to order between 200 and 400 million vaccines from Janssen. If the vaccine proves successful, it will become available to people in the Netherlands. However this is not expected to happen until Spring 2021 at the earliest.
People across the Netherlands have expressed concerns regarding any potential vaccine for the coronavirus. A study in July revealed there were a number of people who have doubts about receiving the vaccine due to the rapid development rate and any potential side effects.
Furthermore, a survey carried out by voting advice website Kieskompas revealed that around 10 percent of people in the Netherlands believe at least one of the coronavirus conspiracy theories - with 5,6 percent of respondents stating they thought it possible that any future vaccine would be used to inject people with electronic chips so they could be continuously monitored.
Alongside the Janssen vaccine, the Netherlands, together with France, Germany, and Italy, has signed a contract with AstraZeneca for at least 300 million doses of their vaccine. Countries around the world are racing to be the first to develop a successful coronavirus vaccine.