J&J starts two-dose trial of Covid-19 candidate vaccine in UK

Daniel Fowler
November 16, 2020

USA biotech firm Moderna has reported encouraging findings from the phase 3 trial of its candidate vaccine.

US-led biotech firm Moderna has said its coronavirus vaccine candidate has been shown to be more than 90 per cent effective in preventing disease among infected individuals.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are based on a new platform called messenger RNA, which is faster to produce than traditional vaccines.

In any event, the last big question regarding the two possible vaccines is how long will this immunity last? two months? three? a year?

Representational image of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded its prestigious €9.7 million ($11.5 million) Synergy Grant jointly to researchers.

As Coronavirus surge continues unabated across the world with India battling the infection with strained medical and health infrastructure, people are waiting eagerly for a vaccine to rein in the deadly Covid 19 virus.

The two-dose Phase 3 trial is created to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccine candidate versus placebo in adults with and without comorbidities associated with an increased risk for severe Covid-19. Though it's unclear who specifically will qualify to receive the drug first, doses will need to be rationed for several months before vaccines are widely available.

Cui Fuqiang, director of the vaccine research center at Peking University's School of Public Health, told CGTN that even though governments, companies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and other partners are working together, meeting the goal of 2 billion doses is still challenging.

Wall Street markets open later, but the futures index points to a big jump.

This comes on the heels of Pfizer announcing last week that its own vaccine has tested out around 90% effectiveness.

Light rains lash Delhi-NCR, provide temporary respite from air pollution
It deteriorated to 390 the next day and remained in the "severe" category on three consecutive days thereafter. The 24-hour average AQI was 339 on Friday and 314 on Thursday.

"Today, the focus has shifted to rapid testing and reliable vaccines, both essential for a return to travel normalcy".

"We plan to have enough vaccine doses available for use in the USA population to immunize about 20 million individuals in the month of December, and another 25 to 30 million per month on an ongoing basis from there on", he said. 11 participants from the placebo group developed heavy symptoms.

Moderna, part of the U.S. government's Operation Warp Speed program, expects to produce about 20 million doses for the United States this year, millions of which the company has already made and is ready to ship if it gets FDA authorization. The same can not be said about the placebo group, however.

He added that researchers are hoping to recruit people from groups disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including older people and those of ethnic minorities.

The vaccine was generally safe and well tolerated, and the majority of adverse events were mild or moderate in severity, it said.

In Moderna's trial, 15,000 study participants were given a placebo, which is a shot of saline that has no effect.

A spokesman said: "Moderna are now scaling up their European supply chain which means these doses would become available in spring 2021 in the United Kingdom at the earliest".

The Trump administration has primarily relied on the development of vaccines and treatments as its response to the pandemic.

Novavax - US company that was provided with €1.6bn by the US Government as part of Operation Warp Speed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in June that Israel signed a deal with Moderna for a future coronavirus vaccine, without specifying the number of doses that would be supplied or the financial details of the agreement. The goal was to deliver around 300 million doses globally by next April, which "could allow us to only start to make an impact", he said.

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