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Coronavirus

Chinese COVID vaccine finds few volunteers in Pakistani trial

Despite close ties with Beijing, conspiracy theories make many hesitate

Pakistan has selected five hospitals in three major cities for a clinical trial of a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine but so far is having trouble getting the expected 8,000 to 10,000 participants to sign up. (Source photos by Reuters)

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan, one of China's closest allies, has been struggling to find volunteers for its part of a multicountry Phase 3 clinical trial of a Chinese vaccine against the new coronavirus.

"Hospitals ... have been facing difficulties in recruiting volunteers for the trials because of the flood of misinformation, mainly on social media," a senior official at the National Institute of Health (NIH), a government-run research body, told Nikkei Asia on condition of anonymity.

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