With cases of coronavirus continue to rise all over the world hitting the bar of 1.4 crore people today. Everyone has there eyes on the unprecedented race between many medical institutions and pharmaceutical firms to be the first one to develop a safe vaccine against Covid-19. At the moment, there are almost 150 vaccines registered under WHO to combat the coronavirus in the different stages of trails across the world. WHO said that it is optimistic and there is hope that they might have one or two vaccines by the end of this year.
On the top of the leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates, the vaccine in collaboration with Oxford University and AstraZeneca has shown positive results in initial trials is undergoing the phase 3 of the clinical trials at the current moment in Brazil, where 2,000 Brazilians will be tested for the trials. The conclusion of the trials is to be published today in the Lancet Medical Journal. They are very enthused with the affirmative findings and results of the initial human trials.
This vaccine is officially known as AZD1222, the vaccine candidates have been developed by Jenner Institute, a part of the University of Oxford. The formulation is backed by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company – AstraZeneca PLC.
The Jenner institute’s claims that their Covid-19 vaccine candidate may provide “double protection” against the coronavirus. This vaccine might trigger the production of T-cells and antibodies in the body. Therefore, there might be a chance that this new vaccine will provide immunity against the virus. Killer T-cells generated in the body tend to last much longer as they recognize and kill the virus-infected cells, preventing them to grow. However, these immune generated cells will drain off within three months.
Moreover, Oxford University claims that AstraZeneca backed Covid-19 vaccine candidate may be available in two months approximately by September. However, anything can happen, the final date have not been decided yet, things might go wrong but work with a big pharma company provides a different advantage, they are targeting to provide vaccine widely by September. Though still the vaccine needs to clear more stages the sources in the trials said that the results are “extremely promising”.
AZD1222 is the first vaccine to cover both bases – provide antibodies response as well as the production of T-cells. This combination provides double protection and the main reason that will help to keep people safe. So far it’s good the way it is moving forward. But still, there is a long way to reach success. However, with the current pace of the rise in the case of coronavirus, waiting for two months for the vaccine to succeed is also a challenge.
Currently, the vaccine is in phase II/III trials in the UK, and phase III trials have started in South Africa and Brazil. Oxford University clearly said that the vaccine will only be available on a not-for-profit basis for the duration of coronavirus pandemic.
India has also taken the initiative to collaborate with British-Sweden drug maker, the Serum Insitute established in India is the one to manufacture and supply of an additional of one million doses being developed by Oxford University. The human trials for Oxford University will be started in India by August.
Serum Insitute optimistically states that “We are hoping that the AstraZeneca vaccine will be available towards the end of 2020.”
Here the question arises, Do we have that much time to wait for the end of 2020 with the increase in the number of cases?
Despite the progress, it is important to understand that vaccine development is a complex process with different levels of uncertainty. While some researchers are doing their best, but there is still no guarantee it will work against such a dreadful virus. Though the results are very encouraging, to lift your hopes is not such a good idea. Being optimistic at the current time is all that we need.