Ms. Tao, 50 and not having contracted SARS earlier this year, offered to have a newly developed SARS vaccine tested on her in south China's Guangdong Province. The retired woman is the first applicant for the test in the province, Guangzhou Daily reported.
Tao, who lives in Shunde District, Foshan, said she had not contracted SARS earlier this year. However, she sympathized deeply with her colleagues and neighbors who contracted the virus.
Guangdong began to recruit volunteers to test the SARS vaccine starting from Monday. Many people applied for the test since the news was released.
The vaccine had passed a trial on animals and will go on clinical trials if found to be successful on volunteers, said a SARS expert.
The volunteers will be chosen from different age groups, but most should be young people, experts say. Volunteers should have no SARS history, they added.
About 200 volunteers were needed for the first stage of the tests, while the third stage would need more than 1,000 volunteers, said an expert with the provincial disease control and prevention center.
The efficacy of the vaccine would not be known until it could be tested on a SARS patient, said the expert.
The vaccine is now being examined by the State Food and Drug Administration. It was submitted to the administration at the same time a SARS vaccine developed by the Beijing Kexing Bio-product Co. was submitted.
Experts say they felt confident that enough volunteers could be recruited.
(Shenzhen Daily November 25, 2003)