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Corona Vaccines in India and Around The World

Written by Mary Pooja

It’s been six months since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the race among countries to develop a safe and effective vaccine is still on go. Researchers around the globe are working breakneck to discover a vaccine that can bring an end to this deadly virus and their efforts are paying off with favorable results.  As of now, at least 89 vaccines are being developed in various laboratories and the researchers try to transfigure more for effective results. Here’s a look of vaccines that shows promising results that might pull down the death toll.

ICMR – Biotech Vaccine

India is still in the nascent stage of developing the corona virus vaccine. Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said the trials would begin within 6 months in the country. “The virus strain isolated at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) laboratory in Pune will be used to develop the vaccine, and this strain has been successfully transferred to Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL). It is expected that the human trials of the vaccine will begin in at least six months,” said Dr. Rajni Kant, Director, Regional Medical Research Centre and Head of ICMR.

Moderna, Novavax

American biotech company “Moderna” is slated to enter stage 2 of its clinical trials in July, while Novavax has begun phase 1 of its clinical trials, whose results are also expected in July. “Administering our vaccine to the first participants of this clinical trial is a significant achievement, bringing us one step closer toward addressing the fundamental need for a vaccine in the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said CEO Stanley C. Erck. But, according to experts, the COVID-19 vaccine will not be ready before next year.

GlaxoSmithKline’s Pandemic Vaccine Booster

Britain’s firm GlaxoSmithKline Plc said on Thursday it plans to produce 1 billion doses of vaccine efficacy boosters, or adjuvants – an ingredient that makes vaccine wok better – next year for use in COVID-19 treatment. GSK’s adjuvants have been shown to create a stronger and longer-lasting immunity against infections and can reduce the amount of protein required in a vaccine, making way for higher-volume production.

“We believe that more than one vaccine will be needed to address this global pandemic and we are working with partners around the world to do so,” GSK Global Vaccines President Roger Connor added.

Japanese Firm AnGes Inc.

Meanwhile, Japanese biopharma venture AnGes Inc will begin clinical trials for its DNA vaccine in July, which is earlier than previously planned. The company has already successfully completed animal trials of the vaccine. “We will examine the results of the toxicity data and swiftly move forward to clinical trials,” AnGes said in a statement Monday as cited by Bloomberg. The Japanese firm is in the process of developing the trials with Osaka University since March. If proven effective, the AnGes’ vaccine candidate is likely to be approved by the end of this year.

China’s Cansino Vaccine

Cansino vaccine, developed by a China-based company, has entered phase-two of its clinical trials. In the testing done so far, volunteers who were administered a single dose of the vaccine produced certain immune cells, called T cells, within two weeks while the antibodies, which are needed for immunity, reached a recovered level of 28 days.

Another Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech has pinned hope on its inactivated vaccine, dubbed CoronaVac, and said it was 99 per cent sure of its efficacy.

The company has reached stage 2 of its vaccine trial, with more than 1000 volunteers participating. The company is in preliminary talks to hold stage 3 trials – the final part of the process in the UK.

Pfizer – BNTECH Vaccine

American pharma giant Pfizer has co-produced the coronavirus vaccine with a German company called BNTECH which has begun the procedure of administering doses to patients. Four vaccine candidates developed out of messenger RNA (mRNA) format are being tested on volunteers to determine the most suited vaccine of the four. The tests are presently being carried out in Germany and parts of the United States (US).

The Oxford University Vaccine

The vaccine candidate being developed by Oxford University is based on a weakened strained of adenovirus which causes common cold in chimpanzees and is combined with the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The first phase of clinical trials of the vaccine has already been conducted in April on more than 1,000 candidates and the next phase will involve injecting both ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or another control group licensed vaccine namely MenACWY to understand the efficacy and safety of the vaccine candidate

INOVIO Pharmaceuticals Vaccine

INOVIO Pharmaceuticals has already conducted phase 1 of its clinical trials to test the efficacy and safety of its vaccine candidate INO-4800 vaccine. The results of the same are expected to be out by the end of June for which 40 healthy participants were given two doses of its vaccine candidate,four weeks apart. After the preliminary data are out, INOVIO will seek the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to go ahead with the Phase 2/3 trial.

Why A Vaccine May Be The Key To End The Pandemic?

Most health experts predict that the virus won’t stop spreading until 60% to 70% of the world’s population is immune, and they say the only way to reach that level of immunity without a monumental death toll is through vaccines. Such is the opinion of Carl T. Bergstrom, a biology professor at the University of Washington and Natalie Dean.

What Happens If We Never Find A CoronaVirus Vaccine?

The longer we go without a vaccine, the more likely focus will shift toward treatments, such as the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir, which has reportedly shown promising results. With effective therapeutic treatments, many viruses that used to be fatal are no longer death sentences.

“There are some viruses that we still do not have vaccines against,” says a special envoy to the World Health Organization on Covid-19. “We can’t make an absolute assumption that a vaccine will appear at all, or if it does appear, whether it will pass all the tests of efficacy and safety.

“It’s absolutely essential that all societies everywhere get themselves into a position where they are able to defend against the coronavirus as a constant threat, and to be able to go about social life and economic activity with the virus in our midst,” Nabarro tells CNN.

Without a coronavirus vaccine, the road back to “normal life” may be harder and longer, but not necessarily impossible.

Most experts remain confident that a Covid-19 vaccine will eventually be developed; in part because, unlike previous diseases like HIV and malaria, the coronavirus does not mutate rapidly.

About the author

Mary Pooja