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Vaccines Are Just Around The Corner… But When Will They Come To The Indian Pop ?
With the surge in COVID cases worldwide, vaccines may be the only long term solution to control the pandemic. There are a number of vaccines being developed for COVID-19, however, only some of them are in the most crucial phase 3 clinical trials, where the vaccines are tested on thousands of people for safety and efficacy.
The top vaccine candidates that are in phase-3 trials are discussed here. At CIO, we believe that at least 2 or 3 among them will be approved and rolled out by the end of 2020, With 1 possibly ready for deployment as early as October. Technically, a couple have already been deployed, but each country has to decide to “accept” which vaccine is a real vaccine, is ready for scale up and which one they wish to back.
Moderna in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health began developing the COVID-19 vaccine in January, entered into human trials in March, and progressed into phase-3 trials on July 27. The company enrolled 30,000 people as part of the phase-3 trial which is expected to complete by the end of this month and if the trial shows promising results, it may launch the vaccine by the year-end. The company also said that it is on track to deliver at least 500 million doses per year beginning in 2021. Typically, vaccines testing requires two doses, with twenty eight days in between. That means, the first set of results would be available around mid-September. In this case, we believe no news is good news. We expect Moderna’s vaccine to be a home-run.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine developed by the Oxford University entered phase-1 clinical trials in the third week of April and showed promising results. The vaccine entered phase-3 clinical trials at the end of August and the trials were paused on September 6, after a volunteer in the U.K. developed an unexplained illness. However, after an independent committee safety review, the trials resumed on September 12. The company has said that, if the phase-3 trials yield positive results, they might be able to start delivering the vaccine for emergency use as early as October. It also indicated that the manufacturing capacity of the vaccine, if approved, stands at 2 billion doses.
The Gamelaya Research Institute, part of Russia’s Health Ministry launched clinical trials of the vaccine, Gam-Covid-Vac (later renamed – Sputnik V) in June. On Aug 11, the Russian President announced that the Russian health care regulator had approved the vaccine and claimed it the first registered COVID-19 vaccine even before the phase-3 trials. The phase-3 trials of the vaccine began on Aug 12. Very recently, Russia has signed a strategic deal with Indian drug company Dr. Reddy’s and agreed to supply 100 million doses of its vaccine. Technically, this vaccine is already deployed; so by October if the vaccine gains enough acceptance, it will already have scaled partially.
CoronaVac vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech showed promising results in its early trials and entered phase 3 trials in July. The Chinese government approved the vaccine for limited emergency use in July. Once accepted, China has deals to deploy in Brazil and the middle east, aside from domestically. The UAE has already approved this for emergency use.
CanSino Biologics in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences is developing a COVID vaccine and they published promising phase-I trial results in May followed by phase-II trial results in July. The Chinese government approved this vaccine for military use. The vaccine entered phase 3 trials in August.
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