HONG KONG, July 8 – A kick off ceremony was held at Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong (Gleneagles or GHK) for initiating a clinical trial to assess the safety and immunogenicity of the SINOVAC’s Omicron-specific COVID-19 inactivated vaccine used as a booster shot in healthy adults, in anticipation of providing scientific evidence for future immunization strategy. This study is led by a medical research team of the University of Hong Kong Clinical Trials Centre (HKU-CTC) in collaboration with Gleneagles.

In this study, a total of 300 healthy adult volunteers aged 18 and above who have been vaccinated with two or three doses of inactivated or mRNA COVID-19 vaccine will be recruited. As we know, vaccination is one of the most effective ways to cope with infectious diseases. Currently, Omicron continuously sweeps the world.

I hope the clinical trial could strengthen and effectively promote vaccine research and vaccination administration,” Professor Ivan Hung Fan-ngai, Ru Chien & Helen Lieh Professor in Health Sciences Pedagogy, Clinical Professor and Chief of Infectious Diseases, and Assistant Dean of Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, Assistant Dean (Admissions), LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed), stated in the ceremony.

“As one of the research sites of HKU, we are pleased to be part of this clinical trial project and contribute to the continuous research and development of vaccines and immunization strategies to help enhance health protection for people,” said Dr Kenneth Tsang.

“It is of great significance to cooperate with Professor Hung, HKU-CTC and Gleneagles to carry out the clinical trial of the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine as a booster shot against the Omicron strain. We hope to find a solution for Hong Kong and the globe to fight against the new viruses with the results of this trial,” said Ms. Cheryl Law, International Business Development Director of SINOVAC.

SINOVAC obtained the sample of the Omicron variant in early December 2021 and then actively promoted research and development of its inactivated COVID-19 vaccine (Omicron specific strain). Preclinical research demonstrated that the vaccine is safe and effective in animals.

The Omicron strain booster immunization clinical trial was then approved by the HKU GHK Institutional Review Board (IRB) on 12th April 22 and by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong on 14th April 22, allowing the carrying out of the clinical study on boosting the immunity of people against the new coronavirus strain in Hong Kong.