SPAIN’S first domestically-made COVID-19 vaccine produced by Hipra is to start its final phase of clinical trials.

Approval was given by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products(AEMPS) on Tuesday.

It is the first COVID-19 vaccine to be created and manufactured in Spain.

The first tests produced good results in terms of safety and efficacy, and the vaccine is said to provide ‘good protection’ against the Omicron variant.

3,000 volunteers from 20 Spanish hospitals as well as centres in Italy and Portugal will take part in the phase III trial.

Phase II trials in November involved testing on 1,000 volunteers in ten hospitals in Spain.

If it is a success, then the Hipra vaccine could start to be used in a few months.

Subject to regulatory approval from the European Medicines Agency, Hipra anticipates being able to produce 600 million doses this year and double that number in 2023.

The first shots might be available by June this year.

Science Minister, Diana Morant, said: “This advance in research is a historic milestone for Spain.”

“It is something that is going to help both us and the rest of the world,” she added.

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