UNAM to launch new laboratory for COVID-19 vaccine research

20/05/2020
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16:38
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Eduardo Hernández
UNAM to launch new laboratory for COVID-19 vaccine research
A healthcare worker conducts Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests at the microbiology lab - Photo: Oscar del Pozo/AFP

UNAM to launch new laboratory for COVID-19 vaccine research

20/05/2020
16:38
Eduardo Hernández
Mexico City
-A +A
The laboratory will focus on COVID-19 research

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The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is working on the construction of a laboratory that will be in charge of creating a vaccine to fight the virus that causes COVID-19; it will be located at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and it will comply with all requirements.

“The head of this project, Laura Palomares, from the Institute of Biotechnology, thinks that the laboratory can be built in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine because there is already a laboratory than can be adapted to the conditions required for the tests, mainly in animals, as happens with vaccines, and then it will have to be tested in humans,” as explained by Rosaura Ruiz Gutiérrez, head of Mexico City’s Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation.

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She said that the Institute of Biotechnology, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and other  UNAM schools will partake in the installation of the laboratory. The SECTEI will provide some resources for the timely construction of the facilities.

UNAM’s dean Enrique Graue Wiechers explained that the model has been already developed although some protocols issued by the Federal Commission for Protection Against Health Risks (COFEPRIS) must be followed.

“There is confidential information, of course, and I still don’t have specific dates because it must comply with COFEPRIS’s processes before being available. More than giving you a date, I’d rather tell you we’re making progress,” he said.

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The UNAM will also donate 22,000 personal protective equipment kits for residents in Mexico City’s hospitals which, according to the head of Mexico City’s Health Ministry, are a total of 668.

The UNAM is also working with the local government on the production of N95  masks, as well as in the administrative coordination of the temporary hospital unit built at the Citibanamex Convention Center.

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