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Covid-19 vaccine tracker, Sept 25: Serum candidate in phase I/II trials in Australia

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine update, September 25: Serum is partnering with SpyBiotech, a spin-off of Oxford University, to develop a vaccine for Covid-19.

By: Explained Desk | Pune |
September 25, 2020 8:14:40 am
coronavirus, coronavirus vaccine, corona vaccine, serum institute vaccine, covid 19 vaccine india, coronavirus vaccine indiaPeople wearing face masks walk past an outdoor photography exhibition of healthcare workers in Melbourne, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. (James Ross/AAP Image via AP)

Coronavirus vaccine tracker: Apart from bringing some of the leading contenders of a coronavirus vaccine to India, the Serum Institute is developing its own vaccine as well. It is partnering with SpyBiotech, a spin-off of Oxford University, for this purpose. Their vaccine candidate has entered into combined phase-I/phase-II clinical trials, which are being done in Australia. The trials began in the first week of September.

Serum also has the license to produce and market two of the leading vaccine candidates, one being developed by AstraZeneca and the Oxford University, and the other one by US company Novavax. The Oxford University vaccine is currently undergoing phase-II and phase-III trials in India.

New York state says will review any vaccine approved by the US federal government

In further politicisation of the debate over coronavirus vaccine, New York governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said that his state would review any vaccine cleared by the federal government before approving it for public use. Cuomo said this was because of fears that the federal government might rush through a vaccine political reasons without having adequate regard for its safety or effectiveness.

“Frankly, I am not going to trust the federal government’s opinion, and I would not recommend to New Yorkers, based on the federal government’s opinion,” Cuomo was quoted as saying in a New York Times report.

“Unfortunately, we can no longer trust the federal government,” he said.

Coronavirus vaccine has been at the centre of intense speculation and debate in the United States ahead of Presidential elections on November 3. When most companies and experts had been saying that a vaccine would not be available before early next year, US President Donald Trump had insisted that it could be ready by the end of this year itself. Later, he said the vaccine could be made available before the election date as well. Since then, the timeline for vaccines, at least for their availability in the United States, has been advanced to the end of this year.

As of now, four leading vaccine contenders, those by AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson, are undergoing phase-3 clinical trials in the United States. Pfizer has said it expects to know by October whether its vaccine candidate is effective or not. If the trials throw up satisfactory data, the company has said it would immediately apply for an emergency authorisation to enable its availability for the public. Other vaccine candidates are expected to know about their effectiveness data by December or January next year.

Hunt for coronavirus vaccine: The story so far

  • 187 vaccine candidates in pre-clinical or clinical trials
  • 38 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.

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The ones most talked about:

* AstraZeneca/Oxford University
* Moderna
* Pfizer/BioNTech
* Johnson & Johnson
* Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline
* Novavax
* 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 23; source: WHO Coronavirus vaccine landscape of September 22, 2020)

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