Coronavirus Vaccine News: After Oxford, Chinese vaccine shows results, India’s Covaxin at trial stage | 10 points


After the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University showed positive results, another vaccine being developed by China has also shown favourable results as the world grapples with rising number of coronavirus cases.

India has also started with the human trials of the indigenous Covaxin being jointly developed by Bharat Biotech and ICMR. Human trials of Covaxin has started at some of the 12 centres approved by the ICMR and the results can be expected in 2-3 months.

1. India’s indigenous coronavirus vaccine being developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has entered the first phase of human trials. While the Phase-1 human clinical trials for Covaxin has already begun at the Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad, AIIMS Delhi has recruited candidates who would undergo trials.

2. The trial centre for Covaxin in Bhubaneshwar is all set to begin the human trials. Earlier, ICMR landed in a controversy with Covaxin when it set a deadline for the developers to unveil the coronavirus vaccine before August 15.

3. The coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca has shown positive results, sending cheers across the world. Scientists have said the vaccine has shown it can generate both antibodies and cell-mediated immune responses. However, the Oxford research team has said there is still a long way to go.

4. The University of Oxford’s possible Covid-19 vaccine could be rolled out by the end of the year but there is no certainty, the lead developer of the vaccine has said. The experimental vaccine produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials, data showed on Monday, preserving hopes it could be in use by the end of 2020.
5. As the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca gave positive results, the Serum Institute of India (SII) said it will be able to produce about 300-400 million doses of the vaccine by December and half of its production will be for India. SII, the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world, has been chosen by Oxford and its partner AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine once it gets ready.

6. SII CEO Adar Poonawalla said they will apply for license from the Indian regulator to start clinical trials of the Oxford vaccine in a week’s time.

7. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has so far permitted two vaccines developed in India — one by the Bharat Biotech International Limited in collaboration with the ICMR and another one by Zydas Cadila Healthcare Ltd — to go in for phase 1 and 2 human clinical trials.

8. The phase II clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by CanSino Biologics Inc and China’s military research unit has shown that it is safe and induces an immune response. The results were published in a study in The Lancet. Scientists, including those from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the trial sought to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate.

9. Meanwhile, Brazil has approved clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine under joint development by US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech. This is the third such vaccine to be tested in the country. Earlier, Brazil had approved the two vaccines developed by Oxford University and China to be tested in the country.

10. Moderna Inc and Merck & Co on Tuesday told a US Congressional panel that they expect to profit from their coronavirus vaccines once approved. “We will not be selling our vaccine at cost, although it is premature for us as we’re a long way from understanding the cost-basis,” Julie Gerberding, chief patient officer for Merck, told the House. Merck’s has yet to begin human studies of its experimental vaccine, lagging the leading candidates.

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