Development of 70 coronavirus vaccines underway


China has approved three COVID-19 vaccine candidates for clinical trials, said an official with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) on Tuesday.

The first prototype, which received its license on Sunday to proceed with clinical trials, have been developed by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, along with China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).

One of the Chinese medical experts had earlier warned that the Coronavirus infection vaccine now being developed by China is just entering the first phase of the clinical trials, and it will probably take more than a year to finish it.

There are 70 coronavirus vaccines in development globally, with three candidates already being tested in human trials, according to the World Health Organization, as drugmakers race to find a cure for the deadly pathogen.

"It's the world's first novel coronavirus vaccine to initiate Phase II clinical studies", Wu added.

The first phase of the vaccine clinical trial focused on its safety, while the second phase weighs more on its efficacy.

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By the sixth day of treatment, 11 patients had died, leading to an immediate end to the high-dose segment of the trial. This was in addition to drugs administered per hospital protocol, including the antibiotic drug azithromycin.

A doctor volunteer receives injection of the adenovirus vector vaccine in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, on April 12, 2020.

Le Gros wants the Government to fund a programme that would evaluate worldwide vaccines, develop its own and prepare for rapid production for an approved vaccine. Such ecological studies are prone to significant bias from many confounders, including differences in national demographics and disease burden, testing rates for Covid-19 virus infections, and the stage of the pandemic in each country. Hot on their heels, US-based biotech startups Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Moderna have both started human testing as well.

Piao Minghua, deputy head of Harbin customs, which oversees Suifenhe border control, told Reuters that everyone entering Suifenhe has to be tested for the coronavirus, give detailed contact tracing, and then undergo quarantine.

Waiting out the pandemic and relying on sourcing a safe and effective vaccine from the global market in the future is fundamentally the wrong approach, Quiñones-Mateu said.

With the Covid-19 virus claiming more than 119,000 lives across the globe, humanity is hoping for an approved vaccine by next year.