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Covid-19 Vaccine Latest Updates: Oxford’s Covishield in India by ‘end of year’; Pfizer shot shows promise, Covaxin trials start

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccine Latest Update: Latest results from Oxford university and Moderna show that two doses of a vaccine may be better than one in getting protection from the novel coronavirus.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 25, 2020 3:48:31 pm
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccine Latest Update: In this handout photo released by the University of Oxford, a doctor takes blood samples for use in a coronavirus vaccine trial in England. (AP)

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccine Latest Update: While the promising results showed by experimental Covid-19 vaccines being developed by University of Oxford and Moderna Inc in early human testing have grabbed the spotlight in the past week, raising hopes of early availability in the market, a World Health Organization (WHO) expert said their first use cannot be expected until early 2021.

“Several vaccines are now in Phase 3 trials and none have failed, so far, in terms of safety or ability to generate an immune response. Realistically, it is going to be the first part of next year before we start seeing people getting vaccinated,” Reuters quoted said Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies programme, as saying.

Meanwhile, latest results from Oxford university and Moderna show that two doses of a vaccine may be better than one in getting protection from the novel coronavirus.

Presently, there are more than 150 vaccine candidates that are in various stages of trials against the coronavirus, according to the World Health Organisation. Out of them, about two dozen are undergoing human clinical trials.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines latest update

💉 Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine status

Results published this week of early human trials of the AZD1222 vaccine, based on a chimpanzee adenovirus called ChAdOx1, developed by the University of Oxford and drugmaker AstraZeneca showed that it produced a dual immune response in people aged between 18 and 55 years.

The vaccine increased levels of both protective neutralising antibodies and immune T-cells that target the virus, according to the study organisers. “Our hope is that we can actually start delivering a vaccine before the end of the year,” Bloomberg quoted AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot as saying.

A single dose of the vaccine elicited an increase in antibodies specifically against the spike protein by the first 28 days.

The Oxford shot is already undergoing a combined Phase II/III trials in the UK, Brazil and South Africa. The Serum Institute of India hopes to embark on phase III human clinical trials with the vaccine candidate by August and it may be launched as early as November.

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, said the cost of the vaccine is estimated to be below Rs 1,000 and will be called Covishield in India.

💉 CanSino coronavirus vaccine status

The experimental Covid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese firm CanSino Biologics Inc has showed promising results in a mid-stage clinical study. A report in The Lancet said the shot was shown to be safe and induced an immune response.

The study found that people with a high level of pre-existing immunity to the adenovirus tend to report less adverse effects but also demonstrate less ability to generate antibodies. However, no difference was observed among participants in their ability to stimulate T-cell response.

The study further said that the potential solution to diminished immunity response would be a booster shot three to six months after the first inoculation is given.

CanSino’s experimental vaccine has completed the second of three stages of human testing, with the firm set to begin Phase III trials in Canada.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccine Latest Update: In this handout photo released by the University of Oxford, samples from the coronavirus vaccine trials, from various parts of the country, are handled inside the Oxford Vaccine Group laboratory in England. (AP)

💉 Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine status

Earlier this week, German biotech firm BioNTech and US drugmaker Pfizer said human trials of their BNT162 Covid-19 vaccine candidate conducted in Germany on 60 healthy adults showed it was safe and induced an immune response in patients.

The data also demonstrated an induction of high level of T-cell responses against the novel coronavirus. The trial showed that volunteers given two doses of the vaccine produced virus-neutralizing antibodies.

According to a report, Pfizer is hoping to seek regulatory approval for the vaccine “as early as October” and have a vaccine on the market by year end.

Recently, the Donald Trump administration, in one of the largest investments yet, announced a nearly $2 billion contract with Pfizer for 100 million doses by December as part of US’ Warp Speed project.

💉 Covaxin coronavirus vaccine status

Human trials of Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine candidateCovaxin — has already begun in most of the 12 sites selected for conducting the tests. AIIMS in Delhi expects to begin vaccinating its first set of volunteers by Saturday.

“We have so far drawn samples from around 14 potential volunteers (to check whether they will be eligible for the trials). To start with, the facility will vaccine around 10 healthy participants,” aid Dr Sanjay Rai, the principal investigator in the trial. AIIMS Delhi has heard back from around 2,000 potential volunteers.

Delhi: 30-year-old is first to get dose of Covid trial drug

The phase I and II clinical trials of Covaxin have been approved by the Indian drug regulator after pre-clinical studies demonstrated safety and immune response.

Another vaccine candidate developed by Zydus Cadila — ZyCoV-D — is undergoing phase I/II trials in Ahmedabad. Panacea Biotec, Indian Immunologicals, Mynvax and Biological E are among the other domestic firms working on coronavirus vaccines in India.

Moreover, Serum Institute of India is also developing a live attenuated vaccine with US-based biotech firm Codagenix, which is undergoing pre-clinical trials, PTI reported.

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