Corona vaccine: When will it be ready ? | Daily News


 

Corona vaccine: When will it be ready ?

While coronavirus keeps spreading and killing with impunity, the world waits for a vaccine that could quash the pandemic.

But details and timelines keep shifting. Here's the latest on where we stand in the race for a vaccine: No one's sure yet, but the target is sometime in early 2021. Vaccines in development around the world are in various stages of testing. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he's confident one of the vaccine candidates will be proven safe and effective by the first quarter of 2021.

Vaccines in development around the world are in various stages of testing. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he's confident one of the vaccine candidates will be proven safe and effective by the first quarter of 2021.

But it's not clear which candidate shows the greatest promise yet.

In the meantime, the US government is helping companies such as Moderna ramp up development of their candidate vaccines so that if they're proven to work safely, they can be rolled out quickly.

"By the beginning of 2021, we hope to have a couple of hundred million doses," Fauci said.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, gave a similar forecast: "If all goes well, maybe as many as 100 million doses by early 2021" would be possible, Collins said.

But many doctors say getting an effective vaccine out by January is a highly ambitious goal.

"Everything will have to go incredibly perfectly if that's going to happen," said Dr. Larry Corey, an expert in virology, immunology and vaccine development. Vaccines have to go through multi-phase trials to make sure they're effective and safe. Typically, a vaccine takes eight to 10 years to develop, said Dr. Emily Erbelding, an infectious disease expert at the NIAID.

Here's how the process typically works:

First, a vaccine is usually tested in animals before humans. If the results are promising, a three-phase trial in humans will begin:

Phase 1: The vaccine is given to a small group of people to assess safety and, sometimes, immune system response. If things go well, researchers move on to:

Phase 2: This phase increases the number of participants -- often into the hundreds -- for a randomized trial. More members of at-risk groups are included. "In Phase II, the clinical study is expanded and vaccine is given to people who have characteristics (such as age and physical health) similar to those for whom the new vaccine is intended," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the results are promising, the trial moves to:

Phase 3: This phase tests for efficacy and safety with thousands (or tens of thousands) of people. The substantially larger number of participants in this phase helps researchers learn about possible rare side effects from the vaccine. History has shown that vaccines developed or distributed in a hurry can lead to unintended consequences. (CNN)


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