Vaccine tracker: Covishield trials running smoothly; COVAXIN expected by February
Even as the COVID-19 outbreak has witnessed a downward trend in India, some states have been reporting large spikes in infections, indicating that the pandemic is far from over. The United States, the world's worst-hit country, also reported a record single-day rise in infections on Saturday. Hence, a COVID-19 vaccine remains crucial. Here are updates on some of the leading vaccine candidates.
Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine candidate will be sold as Covishield in India under a partnership with the Serum Institute of India. The Phase II/III human clinical trials for the vaccine have been running smoothly with no safety concerns, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla told The Indian Express. Poonawalla added, "It's too early to comment on the vaccine's availability, or the (chances of) trial completion by December 2020."
Vaccine produces strong immune response in elderly, youth: AstraZeneca
Earlier, Poonawalla had said that Covishield is expected by December. The vaccine candidate had notably faced minor setbacks during Phase III trials in the past two months elsewhere. However, AstraZeneca has said that it developed robust immune responses in both the elderly and young people.
The results of last-stage clinical trials of Moderna Inc's vaccine candidate are expected in the coming weeks. The United States-based firm is aiming to have vaccine doses ready by December. Moderna could get emergency-use authorization for its vaccine as early as December, according to The Wall Street Journal. The firm is hoping to produce 20 million doses by December.
Russia's Sputnik V
Russia has submitted applications to the World Health Organization for emergency-use listing (EUL) and prequalification of its Sputnik V vaccine. This would enable Sputnik V to be eligible for worldwide access provided it meets WHO's quality, safety, and efficacy standards. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories is conducting mid-to-late-stage trials of Sputnik V in India while Mankind Pharma is likely to market and distribute it.
Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN
Bharat Biotech's vaccine candidate, called COVAXIN, is expected to be ready earliest by February 2021. COVAXIN has been developed by the firm in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology (NIV). Reportedly, 30 crore healthcare workers, MBBS students, and clinically vulnerable groups will get the first doses of the vaccine free of cost.
Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D
Zydus Cadila is expected to test its vaccine candidate, called ZyCoV-D, on roughly 30,000 people in Phase III trials that will start next month. The Ahmedabad-based company will reportedly submit data on its Phase II trials on 1,000 participants to India's drug regulator this month. No safety concerns have been observed with ZyCoV-D so far, sources told The Economic Times.