Some 4,000 volunteer to test coronavirus vaccine in German study

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Some 4,000 volunteers have registered as subjects for a coronavirus vaccination study at the University Hospital in Tuebingen.

"It's a real luxury situation, unlike usual clinical trials," study director Peter Kremsner told dpa on Friday. "Normally we have trouble coming up with enough test subjects."

A clinical study began at the university clinic in mid-June to test the tolerability of a developed by the Tuebingen biopharmaceutical company CureVac.

Since then, around 50 people have received the drug. According to Kremsner, no surprising side effects have yet occurred.

So far everything has been fine, Kremsner said, adding that the study had not revealed any sensational or concerning findings.

Not all of the people who volunteered will be able to take part. A total of 168 subjects are to be vaccinated - in addition to Tuebingen, also in test centres in Ghent, Belgium, Hanover and Munich.

The clinical trial is a so-called phase 1 trial. If it is successful, investigations with significantly more test subjects follow.

CureVac is working on so-called mRNA vaccines. mRNA is a kind of messenger molecule that contains the building instructions for the production of proteins. For their vaccine, the Curevac researchers provided mRNA with the building instructions for a protein of the Sars-CoV-2.

After vaccination, human cells form this protein, which the body recognizes as foreign. It forms antibodies and other immune cells against it.

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