The Spanish Agency for Medicine and Health Products (AEMPS) has authorised the Phase II study of a vaccine being developed by Janssen, a subsidiary of US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johson.
Testing will be carried out on 190 volunteers at three hospitals in Spain who will join 550 volunteers from Germany and Belgium in the pioneering study which will begin next week and last two months.
It will focus in healthy people aged between 18 and 55 as well as those over 65.
“It’s a vote of confidence in our health system,” Health Minister Salvador Illa said announcing the news on Friday.
On Wednesday, the Spanish health minister announced that the first doses of a Covid-19 vaccine were expected to be available in Spain by the end of the year under an agreement within the EU..
The European Commission has agreeds to purchase up to 400m doses for EU countries from the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, a vaccine developed by a research team at Oxford University.
The race is on globally to produce an effective vaccine with 173 projects currently under development worldwide, according to a WHO register, including a dozen being developed in Spain.