Coronavirus vaccine update: China Covid vaccine gives quick immune response

Coronavirus vaccine update: In a year since the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, it has left over 1.3 million people dead and affected over 55 million across the globe. But some positive developments lately around a possible vaccine for the virus has raised some hopes. US-based Moderna has joined Pfizer in approaching the vaccine finish line, with the company saying its vaccine candidate is 94.5 per cent effective in preventing infection. For its part, Pfizer has announced last week that its vaccine candidate was over 90 per cent effective.

The two companies plan to apply for emergency-use authorisation later this month, and they could begin to immunise 20 million people as early as December. Meanwhile, Russia has claimed that its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is 92 per cent effective. And, India's 'Covaxin', Oxford-Astrazeneca, and Johnson & Johnson's vaccine have all shown promising results at different stages of trials.

What does a coronavirus vaccine's effectiveness mean?

It refers to the likelihood that a coronavirus shot will work for people.

 Coronavirus vaccine progress

1. China coronavirus vaccine update

 Sinovac Biotech’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine CoronaVac triggered a quick immune response but the level of antibodies produced was lower than in people who had recovered from the disease, preliminary trial results showed on Wednesday.

While the early to mid-stage trials were not designed to assess the efficacy of CoronaVac, researchers said it could provide sufficient protection, based on their experience with other vaccines and data from preclinical studies with macaques.

2. Moderna vaccine update

Moderna’s investigational vaccine candidate had proved to be 94.5 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 infection based on interim data from a large-scale late-stage trial, the company said on Monday. This makes Moderna the second US firm to report late-stage efficacy data from vaccine trials -- the other one being Pfizer.

3. Pfizer vaccine update

Pfizer’s vaccine, developed in collaboration with Germany’s BioNTech SE, has “an extraordinarily high degree of efficacy, more than 90 per cent, close to 95 per cent,”  according to Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases doctor. That could be a key factor in overcoming reluctance to take pandemic vaccines that have been developed at top speed. The US might begin offering the vaccine to priority groups at the end of December, Fauci said. 

Take a look at how things stand:

- Two vaccine makers have said that preliminary results from their late-stage studies suggest their experimental vaccines are strongly protective

- There are at least 182 coronavirus vaccine candidates in pre-clinical or clinical-trial stages across the globe. 

- Nine vaccine candidates are in the final human-trial stage. 

- In India, two vaccines are in Phase-II trials and one (the Oxford University one) in Phase-III.

4. Russia coronavirus vaccine in India: First batch of Sputnik V to reach Kanpur next week

By next week, the first batch of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for Covid-19 is likely to reach Kanpur's Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College, where the vaccine's Phase-II and -III human clinical trials will be conducted. The decision to conduct the human clinical trials of the vaccine was taken after Dr Reddy's Laboratories got approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in this regard, an official said.

5. Coronavirus vaccine India progress: Hyderabad's Biological E vaccine

Biological E Limited (BE), a Hyderabad-based vaccine and pharmaceutical company, has initiated Phase-I, -II clinical trials of its Covid-19 subunit vaccine candidate in India following an approval from the DGCI. The announcement was made jointly by BE, Dynavax Technologies Corporation (Dynavax), a US-based vaccine focused biopharmaceutical company, and Baylor College of Medicine, a health sciences university in Houston, US.

6. J&K coronavirus vaccine update: UK to run final stage trials of Janssen vaccine

Britain will be the first country to run final-stage trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine being developed by the pharmaceutical company Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Scientists have begun recruiting some 6,000 people across the UK for the 12-month trial. Dr Saul Faust, who is helping lead the study, said the research would start first in Britain but aims to recruit a total of 30,000 people in six countries around the world.

7. India in dialogue with Moderna, other biotech firms over progress in coronavirus vaccine development

India is in a dialogue with the US-based biotech giant Moderna over the progress in the clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate, which the firm said had shown 94.5 per cent efficacy, according to news agency PTI quoted an official as saying.

8. Bharat Biotech coronavirus vaccine update

Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech on Monday announced that it had commenced Phase-III trials of Covaxin, India's first indigenous vaccine for Covid-19. The Phase-III trials, which involve 26,000 volunteers across India, are being conducted in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). This is India's first Phase-III efficacy study for a Covid-19 vaccine, and the largest Phase-III efficacy trial ever conducted in India, the Hyderabad-based company said.

9. Iran coronavirus vaccine progress

Iran  Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on Monday that four Iranian companies had started human trials of a Covid-19 vaccine, media reported. The Iranian companies are among the global institutions currently in advanced stages of vaccine production, Namaki was quoted as saying.

10. Coronavirus vaccine cost: BioNTech to price vaccine below market rates

BioNTech, the first in race to disclose interim data from a large-scale trial showing a highly effective Covid-19 vaccine, is planning to price its two-shot regimen below "typical market rates" and would differentiate pricing between countries or regions.

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