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SARS Vaccine Clinical Trial Off to Good Start

On the afternoon of May 22, four student volunteers--three healthy males and one female from Beijing universities--were injected with a SARS vaccine or a SARS virus-free placebo.

Seventy-two hours later--the first reporting period in the trial--none of the volunteers showed any adverse reactions.

Professor Lin Jiangtao, head of the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital Respiratory Medical Department, is in charge of the trial.

The volunteers took blood tests and were observed for reactions daily in the first three days. The entire observation process will last 210 days.

The four are the first among a group of 36 healthy volunteers aged 21 to 40 who were selected for the clinical trials.

China approved the first phase of the clinical testing in January this year, making it the first nation in the world to approve clinical testing of the vaccine on humans.

Last year, severe acute respiratory syndrome sickened more than 8,000 worldwide and killed nearly 800. China was the nation hardest hit by the epidemic.

(China.org.cn, Xinhua News Agency May 27, 2004)

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