Indian government and agencies had been answering a whole lot of questions everyday for their ambitious public announcement. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) which is a counterpart to United State’s Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) had written to vaccine trial centers to expedite the progress.
According to the ICMR’s letter on July 2nd, 2020, the trial centers were asked to gear up in order to be able to release the COVID-19 vaccine in India by August 15th, 2020, which was criticized by the world media exponentially. The statement was soon retracted and ICMR clarified that the letter’s intent was to boost morale.
We’re 55 days past the deadline, and majority of the population have lost complete interest in the idea of a vaccine. Even for the population at high risk, the fatigue has just started to kick-in, and people are no longer carrying the patience for the vaccine. But that doesn’t change the fact that the world needs vaccine.
What’s the progress of the vaccines?
Joining the race to provide vaccine to the world’s largest democracy, is Oxford Research AstraZaneca, Serum Institute, ICMR, Bharat Biotech Ltd. The companies across the world along with multi-national scientific researchers have partnered with several Indian partners to provide vaccines.
There are 182 vaccine candidates in pre-clinical or clinical trials across the world. Of these, 36 are in clinical trials and nine in final states of human trials.
Covaxin, India’s first COVID-19 vaccine candidate has sought the drug regulator’s approval to start the large scale phase III clinical trial in the country. The Drugs Controller General of India asked the vaccine maker Bharat Biotech to submit “complete safety and immunogenicity data of the phase II trial” and some clarifications before proceeding for the next stage.
Developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Covaxin is currently in the phase II clinical trial in the country. Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech earlier released the animal study results of Covaxin. “The vaccine candidate was found to generate robust immune responses. Thus, preventing infection and disease in the primates upon high amounts of exposure to live SARS-CoV-2 virus,” the drugmaker said.
In short, Covaxin is expected to get an approval and hit the markets by Feb-March, 2021.
AZD1222 | ASTRAZANECA-OXFORD
Oxford & AstraZaneca led AZD1222 COVID-19 vaccine is the most promising competitor among all. Despite having setbacks in its trial three phase in India and in the U.S., the company had resumed developments.
India’s Serum Institute has partnered with AstraZaneca to develop almost a billion doses which was applauded by global communities for their extra-ordinarily cheap pricing assumptions.
AZD1222 could be available as early as January next year for mass deployment.
BNt162b2 | Pfizer
Pfizer Inc, which has jointly developed a candidate with German partner BioNTech SE, plans to distribute its single nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) vaccine to Americans before the end of the year if found to be safe and effective, CEO Albert Bourla has said in an interview.
Pfizer has said it would submit data from the late-stage trial of its BNT162b2 vaccine to the FDA by end of October, putting it ahead in the race than Moderna. “If the FDA approves the vaccine, the company is prepared to distribute hundreds of thousands of doses this year itself,” he said in an interview on CBS television network.
Pfizer is likely to deploy the vaccines as early as January 2021.
JNJ-78436735 | Johnson & Johnson
Johnson and Johnson, which began a 60,000-person phase III trial of its single-shot JNJ-78436735 vaccine last month, expects to submit results by the end of the year or early 2021. If they are positive, the company said it would seek emergency use authorisation. J&J plans to manufacture as many as 1 billion doses in 2021.
The antidote stands out from the rest since it is the first one that could potentially be a single-shot vaccine. Vaccines by Moderna Inc, Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca all require two shots separated by several weeks.
J&J’s vaccine is likely to come to the market by the first half of next year, they’re among the first companies to have pledged to work on the vaccine.
mRNA-1273 | Moderna Inc.
US biotechnology company Moderna, whose mRNA-1273 vaccine is undergoing phase-3 clinical trials in the United States on 30,000 participants, has said it might seek emergency-use authorisation (EUA) after November 25 once it had enough safety data. During public health emergencies, drug regulators allow the emergency-use authorisation of unapproved medical products or treatments.
“November 25 is the time we will have enough safety data to be able to put into an emergency-use authorization file that we would send to the FDA,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told Forbes. However, he said approval wouldn’t be expected until the late first quarter or early second quarter of 2021.
Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 treatment is also likely to hit the market by the first half of next year.
COVID-19 have proved the insubordinate nature of health care across the world. We’ve had unfortunate death rates mostly from the Europe & America, despite their developed economy and health infrastructure.
It is also pertinent to note that the vaccine’s fastest arrival for the common population could still take over 6 months, even though there are umpteen numbers of contenders. It is us who should upgrade your living standards and hygiene.