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"There is no cure yet for Covid-19. And even the most promising treatments to date only help certain groups of patients and await validation from further trials. The F.D.A. has not fully licensed any treatment specifically for the coronavirus. Although it has granted emergency use authorization to some treatments, their effectiveness against Covid-19 has yet to be demonstrated in large-scale, randomized clinical trials."
"Researchers around the world are developing more than 165 vaccines against the coronavirus, and 30 vaccines are in human trials. Vaccines typically require years of research and testing before reaching the clinic, but scientists are racing to produce a safe and effective vaccine by next year."
Source: New York Times - Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker
PRECLINICAL TESTING | Scientists give the vaccine to animals such as mice or monkeys to see if it produces an immune response.
PHASE 1 SAFETY TRIALS | Scientists give the vaccine to a small number of people to test safety and dosage as well as to confirm that it stimulates the immune system
PHASE 3 EFFICACY TRIALS | Scientists give the vaccine to thousands of people and wait to see how many become infected, compared with volunteers who received a placebo. These trials can determine if the vaccine protects against the coronavirus. In June, the F.D.A. said that a coronavirus vaccine would have to protect at least 50% of vaccinated people to be considered effective. In addition, Phase 3 trials are large enough to reveal evidence of relatively rare side effects that might be missed in earlier studies.
APPROVED | Regulators in each country review the trial results and decide whether to approve the vaccine or not. During a pandemic, a vaccine may receive emergency use authorization before getting formal approval. Once a vaccine is licensed, researchers continue to monitor people who receive it to make sure it’s safe and effective.
COMBINED PHASES | Another way to accelerate vaccine development is to combine phases. Some coronavirus vaccines are now in Phase 1/2 trials, for example, in which they are tested for the first time on hundreds of people. (Note that our tracker would count a combined Phase 1/2 trial as both Phase 1 and Phase 2.)
"Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2" (SARS-CoV-2) is the name given to the virus responsible for COVID-19. "Coronaviruses" are a type of virus. This class of virus is not new, but SARS-CoV-2 is a "new" member of the family that is able to infect humans and cause respiratory problems (in symptomatic individuals).
What are COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2?
Resources and references for basic information about what the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 actually is, and how it affects the human body upon infection.
University of Oxford; Astrazeneca
Photo: Syringe and vaccine vial (Oxford Research)
Oxford Vaccine Centre
BioNTech; Fosun Pharma; Pfizer
Phase III Clinical Trial: Study to Describe the Safety, Tolerability, Immunogenicity, and Efficacy of RNA Vaccine Candidates Against COVID-19 in Healthy Adults
Photo: Pfizer & BioNTech Choose Lead mRNA Vaccine Candidate Against COVID-19 & Commence Phase 2/3 Global Study of Up to 30,000 Participants, Starting in US and to Include Approximately 120 Sites Globally; 100 Million Doses Anticipated by End of 2020
Pfizer CT.gov Call Center
Sinovac; Buntanan Institute
Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine Collaboration with Butantan Receives Approval from Brazilian Regulator for Phase III Trial
Photo: A staff member displays samples of the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine at Sinovac Biotech Ltd., in Beijing, capital of China, March 16, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)
Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID); Moderna
Phase III Clinical Trial: A Study to Evaluate Efficacy, Safety, and Immunogenicity of mRNA-1273 Vaccine in Adults Aged 18 Years and Older to Prevent COVID-19
Photo: Experts doubt vaccine will be ready by Election Day (CNN Health)
Moderna Clinical Trials
Beijing/Wuhan Institute of Biological Products; SinoPharm
New Crown COVID-19
Prospective registration: A Phase III clinical trial for inactivated novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) vaccine (Vero cells)
Photo: The chairman of SinoPharm said phase three clinical trials of its vaccine candidate began in June. (Xinhua)
Frequently Asked Questions
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