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Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine status check: Oxford vaccine to protect for a year; Moderna efficacy data by October

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccine Latest Update: Vaccines developed by Moderna Inc, China's Sinovac Biotech and UK's Oxford-AstraZeneca are set to enter late-stage trials in July and subject to large-scale studies.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 17, 2020 2:23:55 pm
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccine Latest Update: The first patient enrolled in Pfizer’s COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, receives an injection. (AP)

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccine Latest Update: The global Covid-19 vaccine race is set to kick up a notch from next month as several experimental coronavirus vaccines, including the ones developed by Moderna Inc, China’s Sinovac Biotech and UK’s Oxford-AstraZeneca, set to enter late-stage trials and subject to large-scale studies.

Even though most of the over 100 vaccines under development are undergoing Phase II clinical trials, numerous countries, including Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the US, have already placed advance orders for millions of vaccines that could be available by the end of the year if they prove to be effective.

As countries gradually emerge from lockdowns, governments are looking at a vaccine as the route to return to pre-pandemic life. This comes even as Robin Shattock, an Imperial College London professor leading development of an experimental shot, said early vaccines may come with limitations on what they can deliver

Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines status check, latest updates

💉 Imperial College London coronavirus vaccine status

Scientists at Imperial College London will start immunising people in Britain this week with their experimental coronavirus shot, which is based on self-amplifying RNA technology, AP reported.

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In a statement on Monday, the UK government said 300 healthy people will be immunized with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed at Imperial, which has been backed by 41 million pounds in government funding.

A further trial involving 6,000 people is planned for October and if these prove successful, Imperial hopes the vaccine could be distributed in the UK and abroad early next year.

So far, the vaccine candidate developed by Imperial College London has only been tested in animals and in the laboratory, where it produced much higher levels of antibodies than would normally be seen in infected people.

The RNA vaccine developed by Imperial College delivers genetic instructions to muscle cells to make the “spike” protein on the surface of coronavirus. The presence of this protein provokes an immune response, offering protection against Covid-19.

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💉 Moderna coronavirus vaccine status

US firm Moderna Inc, which has already started phase II trials for its vaccine candidate mRNA-1273, has recently said efficacy data for its Covid-19 jab could be available by as soon as Thanksgiving (November) if everything goes right.

“In a best-case scenario, we could have efficacy data by Thanksgiving. This is the best time line,” Moderna Inc Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel told Bloomberg.

Final-stage trials of the Moderna vaccine is set to begin next month on 30,000 people. Bancel also said the vaccine would be fairly priced.

“Prices should be in line with existing vaccines and also take into account that federal funding helped back the coronavirus vaccine development,” he said.

Meanwhile, Israel has signed a deal with Moderna for the future purchase of its potential vaccine, Israel’s Channel 13 news reported.

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💉 CureVac coronavirus vaccine status

Germany is investing in biotech firm CureVac, which is developing a vaccine using mRNA technology, months after reports said the US was eyeing the firm. Germany will pay €300 million ($337.4 million) for a 23% share.

CureVac is due to start clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine this month. CureVac was one of the early starters in the vaccine race, but eight other groups have begun clinical trials on humans ahead of it.

Germany’s investment comes days after it signed an agreement along with France, Italy and the Netherlands to procure 300 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine from the British-Swedish pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca.

💉 Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine status

The AZD1222 vaccine, jointly developed by British pharma giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University, is likely to provide protection against contracting Covid-19 for about a year, the company’s chief executive has told a news agency.

The British drugmaker has already begun human trials of the vaccine, with a phase I trial in Britain due to end soon and a phase III trial already begun, Pascal Soriot told broadcaster Bel RTL. “We think that it will protect for about a year,” Soriot said.

Testing of the experimental Covid-19 vaccine in healthy volunteers had begun in Britain in April with over 1,000 people aged 18 to 55.

“If all goes well, we will have the results of the clinical trials in August/September. We are manufacturing in parallel. We will be ready to deliver from October if all goes well,” Soriot said.

Earlier this month, AstraZeneca stated it had started to mass-produce its experimental vaccine and planned to roll out up to two billion doses in September.

The Cambridge-based firm has signed deals to produce 400 million doses for the US and 100 million for the UK if it is successful in human trials.

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