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A photo shows vaccines in prefilled, single-use syringes before the inspection and packaging phase at the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi's world distribution centre in Val de Reuil on July 10, 2020. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP) (AFP)
A photo shows vaccines in prefilled, single-use syringes before the inspection and packaging phase at the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi's world distribution centre in Val de Reuil on July 10, 2020. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP) (AFP)

Covid-19 vaccine: Key updates on which country stands where on development

  • India, Russia, US, UK are fast-tracking their processes to develop a vaccine for the virus
  • US, Western Europe and China have all set up research programs and supply chains for Covid-19 vaccine production

The race for developing a potential Covid-19 vaccine is in the rounds for quite some time as the novel coronavirus cases across the world has crossed 14 million-mark in infections and killed over 6 six lakh people.

Amid the infections and recoveries, several countries such as India, Russia, US, UK are fast-tracking their processes to develop a vaccine for the virus. US, Western Europe and China have all set up research programs and supply chains for Covid-19 vaccine production.

Here are the key updates on which country stands where on Covid-19 vaccine development:

India:

India's first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin got a nod from the AIIMS Ethics Committee on Saturday to start human trials from Monday. AIIMS-Delhi is among the 12 sites selected by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for conducting phase I and II human trials of Covaxin. In phase I, the vaccine would be tested on 375 volunteers and a maximum of 100 of them would be from AIIMS.

Drug firm Zydus Cadila also said it has started human clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D. In the phase of trials, the company will be enrolling over 1,000 subjects across multiple clinical study sites in India, it said in a regulatory filing.

Russia:

Russian health minister said they will make a coronavirus vaccine candidate it is working on available to general public before it clears the third and last phase of clinical trials, according to a new report.

According to a Bloomberg report, Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive of the government-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said the vaccine will start phase 3 trials in thousands of people on Aug. 3 in Russia as well as in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. "Russia could make 30 million doses domestically in 2020, and 170 million abroad, with five countries expressing interest in producing the vaccine and others willing to produce it", he said.

China:

China has positioned itself to be a strong contender. The human trials being conducted by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech have reached the third stage. This is the first vaccine to reach the third stage of human trials. The first dose was given to 15,000 registered volunteers in Abu Dhabi. They were administered the vaccine twice within 28 days and the researchers saw development of anti-bodies in them. There are four vaccines being developed in China for Covid-19.

Eight of the nearly two dozen potential vaccines in various stages of human testing worldwide are from China, the most of any country. And SinoPharm and another Chinese company already have announced they're entering final testing.

United Kingdom:

Th vaccine developed by Oxford University and Imperial College are in second and third stage of human trials. In the second stage, 105 people are expected to be administered the vaccine. The stage 3 trial is expected to begin in November and will cover 6,000 people.

Recently, researchers at the University of Oxford believe they may have a breakthrough in their search for a COVID-19 vaccine after the team discovered that the jab could provide "double protection" against the deadly coronavirus following early stage human trials, according to media reports in the UK.

Blood samples taken from a group of UK volunteers given a dose of the vaccine showed that it stimulated the body to produce both antibodies and “killer T-cells", a senior source from the trial was quoted by ‘The Daily Telegraph’ as saying.

United States:

US biotech firm’s Covid-19 vaccine produced antibodies to the coronavirus in, all patients tested in an initial safety trial, federal researchers said. Moderna’s initial results are from the first group of 45 patients who received the vaccine, called mRNA-1273. It evaluated three doses that were given in a two-shot regimen. The middle one was selected for use in the large final-stage study that is slated to begin on July 27th.

Germany and Australia

Germany has reached the second stage of Covid-19 vaccine development while Australian companies are still on the first stage.

With inputs from agencies

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