Updated: June 19, 2020 8:04:46 am
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccine Latest Update: With dexamethasone emerging as the “first drug to be shown to improve survival”, the focus is now on how quickly the world lays its hands on a vaccine, which is being seen as a long term bet in the fight against the pandemic.
Dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory low-cost drug, reduces death by up to one-third in hospitalised patients diagnosed with acute respiratory complications of Covid-19, researchers said. On Wednesday, the UK government authorised the drug for Covid-19 treatment.
While a handful of vaccines — the ones developed by Moderna Inc, China’s Sinovac Biotech and UK’s Oxford-AstraZeneca — will move into late-stage testing next month, if all goes well, we may have a jab for emergency use by November. Britain and the US have sunk millions of dollars into various vaccine candidates, including one being developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines status check, latest updates
💉 Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine status
China National Biotec Group (CNBG), known as Sinopharm, has recently said its experimental coronavirus vaccine has triggered antibodies in clinical trials and the company plans late-stage human trials in foreign countries.
The inactivated vaccine was found to have induced high-level antibodies in all inoculated people without serious adverse reaction, according to the preliminary data from a clinical trial initiated in April involving 1,120 healthy participants aged between 18 and 59, Reuters reported.
Using a killed version of the coronavirus, the vaccine developed by Sinopharm is among five Chinese experimental shots that have reached the crucial final stage of human testing before they can be approved for public use.
Sinopharm’s announcement comes on the heels of Sinovac Biotech’s, which said earlier this week that its inactivated vaccine, called CoronaVac, induced neutralising antibodies in over 90 per cent of the 600 healthy volunteers in the phase 2.
💉 CureVac coronavirus vaccine status
German biotech firm CureVac has started human trials of its coronavirus vaccines after getting approval from regulators, AFP reported. CureVac’s trial will involve 168 healthy volunteers, of whom 144 will be injected with the experimental vaccine.
The firm is using a new technology based on mRNA, a type of genetic material never before used to make a vaccine. The process entails injecting a short sequence of viral genetic material to trigger an immune response by producing proteins acting against the virus.
The development comes just two days after the German government said it was spending 300 million euros to take a 23-percent stake in the firm.
CureVac is the second German company to move to the trial phase after the Paul Ehrlich Institute in April authorised clinical tests for a vaccine against Covid-19 being developed by Germany’s Biontech with US giant Pfizer.
💉 Pfizer-BNTECH coronavirus vaccine status
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which is co-producing a Covid-19 vaccine with the help of German company BNTECH, has started the process of dosing patients. Four vaccine candidates based on messenger RNA (mRNA) format are being tested on volunteers. The tests are currently going on in Germany and parts of the US.
Pfizer believes that a Covid-19 vaccine could be ready by the end of October 2020, according to The Times of Israel, which has cited Albert Bourla, the CEO of the firm.
“If things go well, and the stars are aligned, we will have enough evidence of safety and efficacy so that we can…have a vaccine around the end of October,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said.
💉 Russia coronavirus vaccine status
The Russian Health Ministry has said clinical trials of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus have begun in the country. The two forms of the vaccine — liquid and powder — developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya research institute will be tested on two groups of volunteers involving 38 people each.
Russia’s news agency TASS quoted Director of Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology professor Alexander Gintsburg as saying that the trials would take about 1.5 months.
Professor Gintsburg had earlier said that mass vaccination against the novel coronavirus may begin in Russia this fall, although the process might take up to nine months.
The Gamaleya institute was in the spotlight last month when Gintsburg stated that he and other researchers had tried the vaccine on themselves before the start of human studies and no one experienced any side effects.
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