French drugmaker Sanofi SA and Britain's GlaxoSmithKline plan to make 200 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate available to the vaccine allocation plan co-led by GAVI and the World Health Organization.
The companies said on October 28 they have signed a statement of intent with vaccine alliance GAVI, which is coordinating the global plan known as COVAX.
COVAX aims to deliver 2 billion vaccine doses around the world by the end of 2021, and more than 180 nations have joined the plan.
The United States and UK are leading a rush to strike deals with drugmakers to reserve supplies of experimental coronavirus vaccines.
GSK-Sanofi has currently signed a $2.1 billion deal with the US to supply it with more than 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. The companies also have deals with the European Union and UK.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The first results from an early mid-stage study of the Sanofi-GSK vaccine are expected in early December 2020, and the companies plan to file for regulatory approval in 2021.
The vaccine candidate uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines. It will be coupled with an adjuvant, a substance that acts as a booster to the vaccine, made by GSK.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic