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BackgroundLatin America (Latam) has a tradition of large-scale vaccine trials. Because of fluctuating demand, many sites have downsized their infrastructure. Therefore, BMGF launched a clinical trial site-readiness initiative early in the coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic including Latam countries between August and September 2020. This survey evaluated clinical development performance measures pre/post initiative (September 2022).Results20/21 prequalified sites participated in COVID-19 vaccine/drug development trials. 156 clinical trials (140 COVID-19 vaccine/drug trials) were initiated in the 2 years since prequalification, compared to 176 in the 5 years before. 33,428/37,810 participants were included in COVID-19 programs. The number of enrolled subjects/day across sites quadrupled from 15 (1–35) to 63 (5–300). The dropout rate was 6.8%. Study approval timelines were reduced from 60 (12–120) to 35 (5–90) days. Mean qualified staff was increased from 24 (6–80) to 88 (22–180).ConclusionClinical trial sites across Latam were successfully prequalified to participate in COVID-19 developments. For the 100 days mission of vaccine availability in a new pandemic sufficient and well-trained clinical trial sites readily available are essential. This is only achievable if sites—especially in low/middle-income countries—are maintained active through a constant flow of vaccine studies.

Original publication




Journal article


Frontiers in Public Health


Frontiers Media SA

Publication Date