Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccine Latest Update: Oxford University-led AstraZeneca leads the vaccine race! World Health Organisation Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan has said that the development and supply of Coronavirus vaccine may take up between 12-18 months, IE reported. Developing a vaccine may need funding up to $18.1 billion in order to deliver 2 billion doses by the end of this year,Swaminathan said. All the countries around the world are trying to get a Covid-19 vaccine at the earliest and presently more than 200 collaborations are working on the development of the vaccine out of which 15 have reached the human trial stage, she said.
With different countries and companies claiming to deliver the vaccine to the world at the earliest, Swaminathan said that presently AstraZeneca was the leading vaccine candidate in the world. AstraZeneca has advanced into Phase 2 trials and they are planning their transition to phase 3, Swaminathan said. Similar is the case with Moderna which also has plans to go to phase 3 by mid July, she added.
However, she cautioned that it would be too early to be assured of these vaccines’ efficacy in curbing the spread of the virus as much will depend on the result of the human trials. In order to ensure that the efforts to find a vaccine for the virus succeed early, funding of varied and different candidates should be done simultaneously so that we can maximise the chances of success.
The development of the vaccine by AstraZeneca is being done in collaboration with UK’s Oxford University. The vaccine developed by them is being tested on humans in South Africa and Brazil. India’s Serum Institute has also invested $100 million in the development of the vaccine and hopes to procure a billion doses for India as well as the poor population of other small countries, IE reported. Earlier during this month, the AstraZeneca CEO reportedly stated that the vaccine candidate would most likely get protection against coronavirus for one whole year.