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  • When Will We Have the Vaccine?

        Monday, July 27, 2020
    August 15 2020 - that's the date announced by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) on July 3.  It could be achieved if Phases I and II of their best vaccine candidates - Covaxin and ZyCov-D are combined into one , are successful and if mass-vaccination starts before Phase III (that compares the safety and effectiveness of the new treatment against the current standard treatment or placebo). Realistically, however, Phase I will be completed only in September or October and the probability of success at this stage is known to be only 15% to 20% . About 70% of phase II trails are unsuccessful, while percentage of “confirmatory” Phase III trials that fail is about 50%.

    September 2020 - that's the month mass-manufacturing could start for one of  the vaccine front-runners Astrazeneca. UK, US and China expect to start mass immunization in November 2020.

    Five vaccine candidates are now in phase 3 of clinical development.

    The AZD1222 vaccine candidate, formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech. In April, Oxford partnered with AstraZeneca for the development and potential large-scale distribution of this vaccine. It is based on a weakened version of the common cold (adenovirus) containing the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Phases I/II were completed in May and phase III initiated in the end of May is expected to be completed in July. Late-stage Phase II/III trials are currently underway in the UK, Brazil and South Africa and are due to start in the US.

    Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate is based on an inactivated pathogen. Phases I/II started in April and reported preliminary success in June.  Phase III trials in Brazil started in June and, if successful. could last only a couple of months.

    Chinese healthcare giant Sinopharm's subsidiary Wuhan Institute of Biological Products' vaccine candidatd will be tested in a Phase III clinical trial in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from July 16th 2020 till July15th of next year.

    Ad5-nCoV - genetically-engineered non-replicating adenovirus type-5 (Ad5)-vectored COVID-19 vaccine from CanSino Biologics - successfully underwent phase I/II trails and was approved for limited use in Chinese military.  On July 11, plans to launch Phase III trial were announced  - in Russia, Brazil, Chile, and Saudi Arabia.

    Moderna's mRNA vaccine technology could offers potential advantages in efficacy, speed of development, and production scalability and reliability. In the end of July, Moderna will start recruiting 30,000 individuals at higher risk of disease in United States,