Posted by : Posted on : 07-Jul-2020

Human trials for a possible coronavirus vaccine are being accelerated.

Writing in today’s Australian publication ‘Your Life Choices.’ Will Brodie, said human trials of coronavirus vaccines are being accelerated and progress is being made in the fight against Covid-19.

I would like to share with your readers some of his commentary.


“In more than 100 vaccine trials worldwide, 17 have reached clinical evaluation, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The New York Times says there are 145 vaccine trials underway, with 21 undergoing human trials.

“Professor Damian Purcell, an infectious diseases expert at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Australia said that having so many candidates is a positive.

“I think we're looking at probably a faster time frame if everybody shares the information and openly compares the results,” Prof. Purcell said.

"The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) lists two Australian trials, in Perth and Brisbane, as among the better prospects.

“These things are likely to be safe. I think they're very strong candidates,” Prof. Purcell said.

"On 30 March, CEPI representatives laid out a vision for accelerated vaccine development in an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

"US biotech firm Moderna’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine entered human trials on 16 March, only 10 weeks after the first genetic sequences of the virus were released.

“We’re getting to candidates much more quickly,” says Beate Kampmann, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “The step up in technology that we have seen in the last five years has really made a difference.”

"At the Pasteur Institute in Paris, a COVID-19 vaccine candidate ‘piggybacks’ on a licensed measles vaccine, which will speed up testing and licensing. That type of vaccine “can already be produced in large quantities”.

"The US government’s Operation Warp Speed program aims to name at least five vaccine projects to receive billions of dollars in funding – an unprecedented expenditure – before there’s proof that the vaccines work.

“By winnowing the field in a matter of weeks from a pool of around a dozen companies, the federal government is betting that it can identify the most promising vaccine projects at an early stage, speed along the process of determining which will work and ensure that the winner or winners can be quickly manufactured in huge quantities and distributed across the country,” The New York Times reported.

"Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top epidemiologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hoped to have “a couple of hundred million doses” by the start of 2021.

"In an interview with ABC News, Australia, on Sunday, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn couldn’t predict when a vaccine would be available, but he said “we are seeing unprecedented speed for the development of a vaccine”.

Human trials of the Linear study, at the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre in Perth, are underway, with participants feeling no ill effects so far.

"At the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, a phase three trial is testing to see if the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine, previously developed to protect against tuberculosis, can partly protect against the coronavirus.WHO head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in June:

“The estimate is we may have a vaccine within one year. If accelerated, it could be even less than that, but by a couple of months. That's what scientists are saying.”

In separate news, as reported in the ‘Economist.’ UK’s Oxford University vaccine is already in three late-stage trials. Only one other vaccine, developed by Sinopharm, a Chinese firm, has started a late-stage trial, and it does not have the global support and finance that Oxford’s does. AstraZeneca, a British pharmaceutical company, is building an international supply chain to make sure that the vaccine is available “widely and rapidly”.

“It might be clear by the end of August whether or not the vaccine is effective. A single successful trial showing efficacy would allow a regulator to approve the vaccine for emergency use–something that would probably pave the way for use in high-risk groups. That could happen in October. The firm thinks that full approval, which would require results from multiple trials, could come early in 2021. Vaccine development routinely takes 10-15 years, so this would be a remarkable result.”

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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