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Trial of the Anti-Covid Vaccine: The Experience of an Italian Engineer

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Author: Salvatore Corradi – FM Chairman

Over the past few days, news have come that have made the whole world breathe a sigh of relief: the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and the German BioNtech, have announced that they have completed the testing of their coronavirus vaccine on humans, effective in 90% of cases and that within a year it can be produced in 1.3 billion vials. The progress achieved by these two pharmaceutical companies are undoubtedly comforting. On the other hand, as everyone knows, other studies and trials that aimed at finding a vaccine to contain the pandemic have been carried out in several parts of the world.

Very interesting is the case of an Italian engineer who told his experience to the local media, to share impressions and reactions with his country following the path he took. Matteo Colombo, however, does not live in Italy, in fact he has resided for some time in Abu Dhabi and it is in the city of the Arab Emirates that he lent himself to test an experimental vaccine. The internationality of this story does not end here, because this vaccine was created by a Chinese pharmaceutical company called Sinopharm one of the first companies to have reached the third level of experimentation.

This is a goal that Colombo was able to see with his own eyes and then he shared his feelings about this very significant experience. The engineer explains that at the beginning the number of volunteers required was only 15,000, but later (thanks to the media coverage that the story has taken), more than 31,000 spontaneous applications were received.

The process followed by all the participants is very simple: it was sufficient to register on the website of the 4 HUMANITY project providing personal details and then move on to the first official meeting, which for Colombo took place on August 6, a date that also coincides with the official administration of the first dose.

The next step took place 21 days later with the administration of the second and last dose of the vaccine. Obviously, in the days before the second meeting the volunteers were constantly monitored and they were followed by doctors who made daily phone calls to make sure of their conditions. What the Italian did privately was undergo a serological test at his own expense, a test that found an acute infection in progress, but the swab gave a clearly negative result.

So everything went smoothly, the vaccine had worked; the blood sample taken 15 days later also showed doctors that Colombo had developed the antibodies needed to fight the virus. The only small side effect he experienced was a slight headache that occurred 2-3 hours after the first injection.

Following this largely positive experiment, the United Arab Emirates have decided to administer the vaccine (always exclusively voluntarily) to the front lines as doctors, paramedics, teachers or military. The China-branded vaccine today keeps being tested in the United Arab Emirates and it has been welcomed in Peru, Argentina, Morocco and obviously in China.