North Korea claims it is developing COVID-19 vaccine
North Korea claimed it has confirmed the immunogenicity and safety of its candidate vaccine through animal tests and that clinical trials have started from this month.
As the world is still deep in the clutches of COVID-19 pandemic, the hermit kingdom of North Korea has claimed to join the list of countries working to develop a vaccine for the highly-contagious disease.
The claim was made by Pyongyang's science research council on Saturday. According to a report posted on Mirae, the website run by the North's State Commission of Science and Technology, its scientists are currently conducting clinical trials to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.
The report said the vaccine development is led by a medical biology institute under the North's Academy of Medical Science using angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).
North Korea claimed it has confirmed the immunogenicity and safety of its candidate vaccine through animal tests and that clinical trials have started from this month. The communist state said that scientists are in discussions on conducting the third phase of clinical study, according to a Yonhap report.
North Korea has still not reported any cases of COVID-19 infection. However, the country had repeatedly been slammed by experts who accuse its leader Kim Jong-un of concealing information.
Pyongyang said the bioengineering branch of the State Academy of Sciences is also conducting research for the development of the novel coronavirus vaccine. Kim had earlier this month hailed his country's "shining success" in dealing with COVID-19.
Speaking at a politburo meeting, Kim had said the country had "prevented the inroad of the malignant virus and maintained a stable situation".
The COVID-19 pandemic has so far infected 14,246,121 people and killed more than 600,000 across the globe, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally on Sunday morning.