Coronavirus vaccine update: Pfizer, BioNTech begin combined trials in Japan
Sinovac Biotech, Moderna Inc, Pfizer and AstraZeneca are racing against time to develop and ready their vaccine as worldwide cases cross 40 million and second wave grips EU and the United States.Updated: Oct 20, 2020, 15:07 IST
Coronavirus vaccine trials undertaken by several frontrunners have entered their second phases. China has already asked the UAE, Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey to contribute to its late-stage trials as Covid-19 cases have receded in China. Brazil will also receive 60 million doses of the vaccine designed by China’s Sinovac.
A research institute in Brazil has said that China’s Coronavac, which was developed by the Sinovac Biotech Ltd, did not elicit any unsafe responses to the 9,000 volunteers who were inoculated.
Here are the latest updates on Covid-19 vaccine development:
1. Pfizer Inc and BioNTech will recruit 160 people aged from 20 to 85 in Japan and start Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of their mRNA vaccine candidate. The companies had also agreed to supply Japan with 120 million doses of their experimental coronavirus vaccine in the first half of 2021. The company said it will need to conduct global trials on at least 44,000 people.
2. São Paulo’s Butantan Institute, which is one of the leading biological institutes in Brazil, conducted Phase 3 tests involving 9,000 volunteers and administered the two-dose experimental coronavirus vaccine, vaccine, called CoronaVac, developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech. The researchers on Monday said that the vaccine appeared to be safe in a late-stage clinical trial in Brazil.
3. Israel Institute of Biological Research said their vaccine candidate ‘Brilife’ will begin its human trials by the end of this month. Israel had earlier said that they have a vaccine ready but the candidate had to go through regulatory processes before it was ready for a human trial.
4. A Dutch study shows that flu shots administered to hospital workers in the last winter are less likely to become infected with the new coronavirus. Researchers from the Radboud University Medical Center said last winter’s flu vaccine could prime healthy cells to give a more effective response to the flu as well as Covid-19. “This could mean that the flu vaccine could offer partial protection against both infections this winter,” the researchers said.
5. The China National Pharmaceutical Group’s chairperson Liu Jingzhen on Tuesday said that the firm may have the capacity to produce more than 1 billion doses in the coming year. Hundreds of people in China have been vaccinated with experimental trial-stage vaccines as a part of an inoculation campaign which started in July.