While we are staying home for “social distancing” and some are thinking about taking chloroquine, different groups of scientists are speeding up developing a COVID-19 vaccine. According to HHS, they have partnered with Janssen Research & Development and will start Phase 1 clinical trial this fall. They predicted to make an available one for “emergency use in United Stated in early 2021.” Their investigational vaccine is called Ad26 SARS-CoV-2. On the other hand, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of NIH, has already initiated its Phase trial in Seattle. They will have 45 healthy adult volunteers on this trial over next 6 weeks, and one participant already received an investigational vaccine as of March 16, 2020. Their vaccine is called mRNA-1273 and was developed by a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company called Moderna, Inc. Outside of US, Australia are testing out two promising vaccine candidates with preclinical trials, which are those that performed in animals. While Moderna made its vaccine candidate by targeting the prevalent COVID-19 protein, S protein, as the antigen that hopefully can invoke the appropriate immune response, those Australian vaccines were focusing on ACE2, which is a protein that this virus uses to get inside human cells. There are multiple approaches and many different candidates. Let us hope there will be one as soon as possible to prevent future pandemic.
- (2020) https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/03/30/hhs-accelerates-clinical-trials-prepares-manufacturing-covid-19-vaccines.html
- (2020) https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-clinical-trial-investigational-vaccine-covid-19-begins
- Ryan (2020) https://www.cnet.com/how-to/coronavirus-vaccines-drug-trials-chloroquine-and-treatments-for-covid-19/