DURBAN – According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are more than 170 vaccines in development worldwide. At least 31 are in clinical trials and only a handful are nearing the final stage of testing.
Here is a list of some of the Coronavirus vaccine front-runners:
- Moderna Vaccine: The Phase 3 trial of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine took a major step this week. The vaccine was the first one to enter human trials in the US. The company tested its vaccine on 10 adults between the ages of 56 and 70 and 10 elderly adults aged 71 and older. Each participant received two 100 microgram doses of the vaccine 28 days apart. The volunteers produced neutralizing antibodies, which researchers believe are necessary to build immunity to the virus and T-cells.
- Pfizer: US Biotech firm Pfizer is in the last phase of trials. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE have begun enrolling 30,000 people in 120 different sites. The company has some key advantages: its vaccine is the only candidate to have produced confirmed responses in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in human trials—a sign of strong immune protection—the analysts said. And Pfizer has a strong infrastructure and commercial expertise that the much younger Moderna lacks.
- University of Oxford/AstraZeneca: The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca PLC has developed the first vaccine candidate to start the final round of testing of the coronavirus vaccine. The Oxford vaccine’s Phase 3 trials are underway in the US, UK, Brazil, and South Africa.
- Sinovac: A private Chinese company has received emergency use approval for its potential Covid-19 vaccine CoronaVac under a programme in China to vaccinate high-risk groups. In preclinical studies, CoronaVac was found to be safe and provided protection to rhesus macaques monkeys. Findings were published in the Science journal.
- Gamaleya Research Institute: Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute is developing a Coronavirus vaccine based on the combination of two adenoviruses. Although Russia has already approved the use of the vaccine in early August, the shot hadn’t gone through final-stage testing. The Russian government is planning for mass vaccination in October.
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