SPAIN could begin testing vaccines for COVID-19 before the end of the year, it has been announced. 

Minister of Science and Innovation Pedro Duque made the comments during a press conference in Granada this morning.

Speaking to journalists, Duque said it is a ‘constantly evolving’ process and that the deadlines will vary depending on the results of each stage. 

However he said it would be ‘quite possible’ that vaccines will be tested soon ‘to see how they work, as is being done in other parts of the world.’ 

“I’m more optimistic than three or four weeks ago,” he said, adding that the EU is doing a ‘very exhaustive’ job of talking with all possible vaccine manufacturers. 

“I am very optimistic that we will be at the forefront of the use of vaccines, but we must ensure they are absolutely safe,” he said. 

Spain’s Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) is currently developing three vaccine projects, two of which are very advanced.

These two will begin trials on ‘humanised’ mice in September.

Humanised mice have been genetically modified to resemble the human immune system, carrying functioning human genes, cells, tissues, and/or organs. 

Both projects have already requested to begin human trials with the Spanish Medicines Agency. 

The one that performs best in the human trials would be ready for production within a year, health authorities said.

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