Potential COVID-19 vaccines make fast progress in China, US

WION Web Team
Beijing, Beijing, China Published: Apr 15, 2020, 09:51 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Initial tests focus on safety, and researchers in both countries are trying out different doses of different types of shots. The second phase allows vaccines to be tested in many more people to look for signs that they protect against infection.

Three potential COVID-19 vaccines -- in the face of the coronavirus pandemic -- are making fast progress in early-stage testing in volunteers in China and the United States. 

It's still a long way to go before any of these are readied to be used.

China's CanSino Biologics has begun the second phase of testing its vaccine candidate, China's Ministry of Science and Technology said Tuesday.

In the US, a shot made by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc. is also in works. The first person to receive that experimental vaccine last month returned to a Seattle clinic Tuesday for a second dose.

A third candidate, from Inovio Pharmaceuticals, began giving experimental shots for first-step safety testing last week in the US and hopes to expand its studies to China.

Initial tests focus on safety, and researchers in both countries are trying out different doses of different types of shots. The second phase allows vaccines to be tested in many more people to look for signs that they protect against infection.

The World Health Organisation this week counted more than five dozen other vaccine candidates in earlier stages of development being pursued around the world. Many research groups are teaming up to speed the work; in an announcement Tuesday, vaccine giants Sanofi and GSK became the latest to partner on a candidate.

Last week, CanSino filed a report showing it aimed to enroll 500 people in this next study, comparing two doses of the vaccine to dummy shots. As of Monday, 273 of the volunteers had been injected, state media said.

CanSino's vaccine is based on a genetically engineered shot it created to guard against ebola. The leading US Candidates use a different approach, made from copies of a piece of the coronavirus' genetic code.

(with inputs from AP)

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