Science

3 Covid vaccine-makers reveal ‘blueprints’

PT Jyothi Datta Mumbai | Updated on September 20, 2020 Published on September 20, 2020

AstraZeneca has become the third company to reveal the blueprint of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate that is presently undergoing late-stage clinical trials.

The vaccine from the AZ-Oxford University combine had recently been paused globally, following an adverse event reported in a participant in the UK. And while it has received regulatory clearance in the UK and trials have resumed on home-ground and in India, the same is not true of the United States where regulatory approvals to resume trials are awaited.

AZ’s blueprint revelation comes days after US-based companies Pfizer and Moderna had done the same on their Covid-19 vaccine candidates, following pressure from the scientific community to go public with more details on their vaccines that were headed for mass deployment in some months, if all goes well.

AZ, Pfizer and Moderna lead the pack of companies developing vaccines against Covid-19. They are all in late-stage trials that involve about 30,000 or more participants across different regions. And recently nine of these companies making Covid-19 vaccines had put out a public statement indicating that they would ensure the safety of their product before it was deployed.

Arun Bhatt, a regulatory expert on clinical research, explains that companies have their clinical trial protocols published on the US government’s registry for the same. With the three vaccine makers revealing more granular details they give the scientific community an insight into the various research milestones and safety details on when the trial could be stopped for reviewing, among other things. Besides, it also sets a precedent for the other companies in the global arena, he added. It, however, remains to be seen if Indian vaccine-makers including Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila would follow suit.

The latest transparency move from the Covid-19 vaccine makers comes even as Oxfam cautioned that wealthy nations representing just 13 percent of the world’s population had already cornered more than half (51 percent) of the promised doses of leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates. Their caution came even as health and finance ministers of G20 countries met to discuss the global pandemic, last week.

Oxfam analysed the deals that pharmaceutical corporations and vaccine producers had struck with nations around the world for the five leading vaccine candidates currently in phase 3 clinical trials, based on data collected by Airfinity. And it warned that the same companies did not have the capacity to make enough vaccines. “Even in the extremely unlikely event that all five vaccines succeed, nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will not have a vaccine until at least 2022,” it said.

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Published on September 20, 2020
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