Italy begins testing potential Covid-19 vaccine on volunteers

Italy kicked off human trials of a potential Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, joining a global effort to develop a response to the virus which has shown signs of resurging in Europe.

Rome's Lazzaro Spallanzani institute, a hospital specializing in infectious diseases will conduct trials on 90 volunteers over the coming weeks, with the hope a vaccine may be available by spring of next year.

Francesco Vaia, health director of the Spallanzani hospital, told Reuters the first patient will be monitored for four hours before being allowed to go home where he will be kept under observation for 12 weeks.

"We will see if it produces any side effects and if it produces neutralizing antibodies," Vaia said, adding the second phase of testing will take place in countries with higher infection rates, like Mexico and Brazil.

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