So to start off, a vaccine doesn’t exist for Covid19 — yet. But, unsurprisingly, many people are working on it. I’ve gone through many articles and press releases and news videos to get the details on some of the key players working on making a vaccine. Below are the highlights and links to the full articles I ultimately referenced.
*The disclaimer for every company is that their attempts at vaccines also need to be approved by their country’s health and safety boards, so even if it looks like good progress is made, they might ultimately have unsafe side effects or other issues that block them from approval.
- There’s no chance participants could get infected because the shots do not contain the coronavirus itself.
- 45 participants get 2 doses, one month between each dose
- The first human subjects were injected with the first dose today (Monday March 16, 2020)
- Human testing is running parallel with animal testing which is unusual process
- A vaccine would not be available for widespread use for 12 to 18 months
- “Going from not even knowing that this virus was out there … to have any vaccine” in testing in about two months is unprecedented
- During testing, they’ll check for any side effects and draw blood samples to test if the vaccine is revving up the immune system
- They have produced a virus-like particle of the novel coronavirus, a first step towards producing a vaccine
- “A virus-like particle looks like the outside of a virus but doesn’t have any of the genetic material on the inside,”
- This works by getting your body to recognize the type of foreign virus so when a real one enters your body, your body can quickly develop antibodies to fight it
- Human trials could begin as soon as July or August
- A mass produced vaccine could be available to the wider public by November 2021
- “We have a [seasonal flu vaccine] that is currently under review with Health Canada, and the [technology] we are using for this COVID vaccine is exactly the same, which has proven to be efficacious,” Clark said
- hopes to have an experimental vaccine ready by June or July
- draw on its low-dose vaccine technology
- More than one dose may be required to immunize a person
- Using messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules that instruct human cells to produce therapeutic proteins that trigger an immune response against cancer or infectious diseases
- Looks like Trump tried to get them to make a vaccine only for USA’s use (article, one of many); they said no, emphatically, as any decent people would
- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology Co. are working together to create a vaccine
- The partnership is hoping to attract additional grant funding and further collaborations with larger vaccine companies in China to increase the speed of future testing
- They will leverage Advaccine’s expertise to run a Phase 1 trial in China in parallel with Inovio’s clinical development efforts in the U.S
- Advaccine brings expertise and experience with regulatory authorities and clinical trial management. This collaboration allows the US-based Inovio to enter China and deliver our vaccine into the areas where they need it most as soon as possible.
I’d been considering a kind of “I read it so you don’t have to” series where I get to learn about interesting and various things that are lesser known or very technically written, then talk about the highlights in plain language. I didn’t plan on doing it with coronavirus, but it seems like a fitting opening.
(PS – if you’re not sure, TL;DR stands for “too long; didn’t read” and is usually in reference to lengthy or complicated reading. Writers give the one sentence summary for those people)