The coronavirus vaccine developed by the alliance of US drugmaker Pfizer German biotech company BioNTech has entered final stage trial, joining four other candidates in late-stage trial. The final-stage testing of Moderna's vaccine candidate started this week, with volunteers at numerous sites around the US. If the study is successful, Pfizer-BioNTech could submit the vaccine for regulatory approval as early as October.
Here are 10 updates:
1) The Pfizer vaccine study is being conduced in the US and elsewhere. Like Moderna, Pfizer also aims to recruit 30,000 volunteers for the trial.
2) Pfizer has already has an agreement to sell 100 million doses of its vaccine to the US government and give it the option to buy 500 million more.
3) Both Moderna and Pfizer's vaccine candidates rely on a new technology that allows for faster development and manufacturing than traditional vaccine production methods but does not have an extensive track record.
4) Johnson and Johnson is launching clinical trials in the U.S. this week.
5) Manufacturers are ramping up production while testing is underway in order to respond as soon as possible to virus, which is still spreading rapidly around the world.
6) Moderna could have tens of millions of doses ready when and if the vaccine is deemed safe and effective, said US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins.
7) The Oxford University vaccine candidate is already into final stage trial in Brazil and it had reported promising results in early trials.
8) Two vaccine candidates from China are also in final stage trial, one in Brazil and the other one in UAE.
9) In India, five sites across the country are ready for the third and final phase of human trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The Serum Institute of India, the largest vaccine maker in the world, has been chosen by Oxford and its partner AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine once it is ready.
10) The clinical trial of indigenously developed Covaxin, a possible vaccine against novel coronavirus, began in Bhubaneswar on Monday at Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) and SUM Hospital, one of the 12 centres selected by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for conducting phase one and two of the process. Covaxin is the first indigenous vaccine developed by India against COVID-19 and is derived from a strain of SARS-CoV-2 isolated by ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune. (With Agency Inputs)