Germany has approved first clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine on humans, officials announced on Wednesday.

Biotechnology company BioNTech’s vaccine program was authorized for human clinical trials after a careful assessment of potential risks and benefits, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, German regulatory authority, said in a press release.

“This is the fourth authorized clinical trial worldwide in which a preventive specific COVID-19 vaccine candidate is tested in humans,” the institute stressed, and added:

“Considering the serious consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a significant step toward developing an efficacious and safe COVID-19 vaccine available in Germany and making it available

Read more: Germany approves first human trials of COVID-19 vaccine