September 21, 2020 8:39:32 am
Coronavirus vaccine tracker: At least ten countries in Asia, South America and the Middle East have entered into agreements to access the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, a report in the Wall Street Journal said.
The list of countries includes India where Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has partnered with the vaccine developers for carrying out late stage trials and then distribute 100 million doses of the vaccine. The Russian developers are also looking for an Indian partner to manufacture the vaccine in India.
Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Saudi Arabia were among other countries that have struck deals to bring the Russian vaccine for their people, the report said. Besides, Russia has claimed that about ten more countries were negotiating to buy the vaccine from it. It has said that it had received requests, or expressions of interest, for about 1.2 billion doses of the vaccine so far, according to the report.
Sputnik V was the first coronavirus vaccine to get the regulatory approval for public use in the second week of August, though China had allowed limited use of at least one vaccine before that.
AstraZeneca reveals details of its ongoing vaccine trials, third company to make such unusual disclosure
Following in the footsteps of Moderna and Pfizer, drug major AstraZeneca has also come out with detailed disclosures about its ongoing coronavirus vaccine trials. These vaccine candidates of these three companies are the only ones to have entered phase-3 clinical trials in the United States. They are also expected to be the first ones to come out with a coronavirus vaccine.
Vaccine developers usually do not give out details of the procedures and methodologies followed for the clinical trials until they publish their results. But in light of a persistent scepticism about a coronavirus vaccine, mainly because of the speed with which they are produced, and the huge political interest in getting an early vaccine, companies are being forced to adopt greater transparency about their processes.
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Its more so in the case of AstraZeneca, whose clinical trials across the world had to be paused earlier this month after one of the participants in England developed serious illnesses. Though the trials in the UK have resumed following a review by an independent team of experts as well as the country’s drug regulatory, the company has faced criticism for its reluctance to share full information about the incident. Though the trials in India, South Africa and Brazil have also resumed, those are still to restart in United States, where the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ordered its own investigation.
Last week, Moderna, followed by Pfizer, released detailed information about their ongoing trials, including overall design, the criteria used for selecting trial participants, the manner in which they are being monitored, and the evidence that will be used to assess whether their vaccine is effective.
Hunt for coronavirus vaccine: The story so far
- 182 vaccine candidates in pre-clinical or clinical trials
- 36 of them in clinical trials
- Nine in final stages, phase-III of human trials
- At least eight candidate vaccines being developed in India. Two of these have entered phase -II trials after completing phase-I.
The ones most talked about:
* AstraZeneca/Oxford University
* Johnson & Johnson
* Russian vaccine, developed by Gamaleya Insttiute in Moscow
* Three Chinese vaccines that have been approved for use in China without phase-3 trials being completed. One of them has been given emergency use authorisation in UAE
(As on September 18; source: WHO Coronavirus vaccine landscape of September 18, 2020)
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