Due to the serious situation with the coronavirus, the rush to introduce a vaccine against it is justified. Many drug manufacturers and research organizations around the world are also struggling to develop the coronavirus vaccine, but it is unclear if this will happen before the pandemic reaches its peak.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has given a statement to the American House Oversight and Reform Committee, there are at least 10 different COVID-19 vaccine contestants who are in different stages of development.
Dr. Anthony added that the transition to phase 1 is the fastest anyone has ever done so far in vaccine history, but the process of developing a vaccine is not as quick.
Applicants to find a vaccine will begin a Phase 1 clinical trial, which is small trials on healthy volunteers over the next 4 weeks. Phase 2 trials are supposed to determine their performance in a large group, but this process, according to Fauci, will take about 8 months. The most optimistic estimate is that it will take at least a year to 18 months before they start administering the vaccine.
About those who say they can do it quickly, Dr. Fauci points out “… that they will cut corners that would be harmful.”
Nevertheless, some coronavirus vaccine candidates are optimistic about their timeline, arguing that the vaccine might be ready by the end of the year.
A well-known Canadian biotechnology company, Medicago, claims they are very advanced in finding the COVID-19 vaccine because they have already successfully produced the coronavirus-like virus (VLP) after receiving the SARS-CoV-2 gene. They believe this marked an important first step toward creating a viable vaccine.
VLPs closely mimic the organization of the actual virus, but differ from it because they do not contain viral genetic material. They can be used for rapid strong antibody response and the cell-mediated response. This is how the virus is protected, without any risk of infection. In fact, like other forms of vaccines, they help the body learn to recognize the virus that has invaded it and train it to fight it.
Bruce Clark, CEO of Medicag told Defense One that it is most optimistic to expect vaccine production in November 2021 if it manages to pass all regulatory hurdles. He believes human testing could begin in July.
Also, another private biotech company, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc, is on track to finding a vaccine to treat coronavirus that causes COVID-19. They hope to start clinical trials on humans in April.
Modern is working with the American National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is believed to be closest to human testing. STAT claims that this biotechnology company began recruiting healthy people for vaccine testing earlier this month. Experts believe that this phase skips over previously completed animal experiments, which is a rather controversial change over the typical protocol.
However, according to most experts, this is not a typical situation to deal with in these difficult times.