The COVID 19 Vaccine race heats up as Britain and Germany enter the fray

The COVID 19 Vaccine race heats up as Britain and Germany enter the fray

First phase of clinical trial on over 500 human volunteers today in Oxford University is based on virus found in Chimpanzees
The COVID 19 Vaccine race heats up as Britain and Germany enter the fray
Beijing, US are already in the race for tests on humans | Vaccine will take another 12-18 months says UN Secy Gen

Britain is readying for its first clinical trial for a COVID 19 vaccine today, the first phase beginning with over 500 volunteers.

With over 150 COVID vaccine development projects going on worldwide, the British and German plans are among the five clinical trials on humans that have got approval as yet. 

Clinical trials on humans were approved in Germany and launched in the United Kingdom.  Volunteers under trial at the University of Oxford, will be given the first dose of the potential vaccine based on a virus that is found on Chimpanzees. The Oxford trial in the first phase, will be run on 510 volunteers aged between 18 – 55 years of age.  This trial will be conducted by the Universities Jenner Institute.

Professor Sarah Gilbert, of the Jenner Institute, estimates an 80 percent chance of the vaccine being successful.  The Institute said that once the vaccine is approved, they will develop a million doses of the vaccine by September, so as to distribute it as quickly as possible.

Earlier yesterday, PEI, Germany’s regulatory body gave the green signal to the countries first trial on human volunteers for a vaccine developed by German firm Biontech and US company Pfizer. PEI said that this trial marks a significant step in making the vaccine available as soon as possible. The first phase of the testing will have 200 volunteers aged between 18 and 55 and the second phase of testing will have volunteers from high risk groups.  These tests will begin by the end of April. The first data, says the firm, is expected to be collected by the end of June or beginning of July. PEI added that further clinical trials of COVID 19 vaccine candidates will begin in Germany in the next few months.

Experts say that with over 170,000 people killed worldwide because of COVID-19, the chances of the first vaccine becoming available will take anything between 12-18 months. UN Secretary General had said last week that a vaccine is the only thing that will allow the world to return to normalcy. This was a call to accelerate the development projects across the globe.

Development projects are also on in China and the US towards development of a vaccine. Apart from the above, three other clinical trials have been approved since March – with Beijing based Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Hong Kong based CanSino Bio and US based Moderna and Inovio Pharmaceuticals beginning the human trials.

News Source: Agency France-Presse | India Today

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