Vaccine Against COVID-19- Know the Current Developments

By      19-Jul 2020       Reading Time: 7 Mins

Vaccine Against COVID-19- Know the Current Developments

COVID Coronavirus vaccine WHO

World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that more than 150 potential vaccines for coronavirus are at different stages of development. So, around 23 vaccines have managed to reach the human trials phase. Meanwhile, state heads of eight countries – Canada, Tunisia, Spain, New Zealand, South Korea, Ethiopia, Sweden, and South Africa have sought fair distribution of Coronavirus vaccine when it is developed.

India’s COVAXIN produced by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Bharat Biotech, and National Institute of Virology, Pune have started human trials for the country’s first indigenous COVID Coronavirus vaccine at PGI Rohtak recently. 

In a major breakthrough for India’s indigenous potential COVID Coronavirus vaccine candidate, its developer Zydus Cadila has received nod from Mexico’s regulatory authority Cofepris to conduct human trials in that country. Zydus Cadila has received approval for clinical trials with its biological therapy, Pegylated Interferon alpha-2b, ‘PegiHepTM’. The company has revealed that the human trials will be “an open-label, randomized, comparator-controlled study… to evaluate safety, efficacy and tolerability in patients with COVID-19”.

Around the world, human trials of potential COVID Coronavirus vaccine candidates developed by Russia, US’ Moderna, and UK’s Oxford-AstraZeneca have shown positive results so far.

Coronavirus vaccine UK Oxford AstraZeneca

Researchers at University of Oxford have revealed that they might have a breakthrough in their endeavour to produce a COVID-19 vaccine. The announcement has come after the University of Oxford team discovered that the jab could provide “double protection” against the deadly coronavirus following early-stage human trials. The human trials of Oxford-AstraZeneca showed that the dose of vaccine has successfully managed to produce both antibodies and “killer T-cells” in the patient’s body. The results are promising because separate studies have indicated that antibodies may fade away within months while T-cells can stay in circulation for years.

The University of Oxford in collaboration with global biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has been developing a potential coronavirus vaccine candidate ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The vaccine candidate has entered the Phase III Human trials. While Phase 1 trial of the potential coronavirus vaccine has shown promising results, the complete data will be published on July 20.

Coronavirus vaccine Russia

Russia has said that its “World’s first coronavirus covid19 vaccine” is ‘safe’. The Defence Ministry of that country has revealed that all the volunteers who were part of the human trials did not show “serious adverse events, health complaints, complications or side effects”. The defence ministry has revealed it expects clinical trials of the potential coronavirus vaccine will be fully completed by the end of July. Officials in Moscow earlier said that the “civil distribution” of the coronavirus vaccine could begin by mid-August and mass production in September. Russia has also planned to produce 30 million doses of the potential COVID19 vaccine domestically in 2020, with the potential to manufacture a further 170 million abroad, as per the Reuters report.

COVID Coronavirus vaccine in India

India’s two indigenous coronavirus vaccine candidates have entered the human trials phase. COVAXIN is being developed by ICMR, Bharat Biotech, ICMR, and NIV, Pune. Zydus Cadila has also begun Phase I trial for its vaccine.

Coronavirus vaccine USA Moderna

US-based Moderna has been working on a potential coronavirus vaccine candidate known as mRNA-1273 in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente Washinton Health Research Institute. The phase I trials of Moderna began on March 16 and Moderna was the first organization to commence the clinical trial of the potential coronavirus vaccine candidate. An interim analysis has revealed that an immune response has been generated in participants of phase I clinical trials, as per a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Moderna will begin its Phase III trials on July 27.

Clinical trial stages

  • Phase I: The drug is given to a small group of healthy people and people with a disease to look for side effects and figure out the best dose.
  • Phase II: The drug is given to several hundred people who have the disease, looking to see whether it is effective and if there are any side effects that weren’t caught during the initial testing.
  • Phase III: This is a large-scale trial; the drug is given to several hundred or even up to 3,000 people. A similar group of people take a placebo, or inactive compound. The trial is usually randomized and can take 1 to 4 years. This stage provides the best evidence of how the drug works and the most common side effects.
  • Phase IV: Drugs that are approved for use undergo continued monitoring to make sure there are no other side effects, especially long-term or serious ones.

Over to you

COVAXIN is being developed by ICMR, Bharat Biotech, and NIV, Pune. Zydus Cadila has also begun Phase I trial for its vaccine. Till then, we encourage practicing social distancing and hand washing.

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