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Coronavirus vaccine update | Australian candidate shows promise; WHO says fair distribution of vaccine big challenge

Here are all the latest updates on a vaccine for coronavirus and its candidates.

August 26, 2020 / 10:00 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

From phase II of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine starting in Pune to World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist saying that a 'fair distribution' of a vaccine will be a big challenge, here are all the latest updates on the coronavirus vaccine and its candidates:

Phase II human trial of Oxford vaccine begins in India, two volunteers administered first shot

Two volunteers were administered a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford as part of its phase II trials at Bharti Vidyapeeth's Medical College and Hospital in Pune.

Pune-based Serum Institute of India has partnered with AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine, named Covishield.

"Five volunteers were tested for RT-PCR and antibodies, out of which reports of three showed they have anti-bodies, hence the vaccine was administered to two," Medical Director of Bharti Vidyapeeth's Medical Hospital said.

Fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccine a big challenge: WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan

Distributing COVID-19 vaccine around the world fairly without letting the rich countries corner the limited doses is going to be a big challenge, the WHO's Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on August 26.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

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.

How many types of vaccines are there?

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.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

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.

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On vaccine development for the novel coronavirus, she said: "By early 2021, we should have some good news."

Then, there is the big challenge of being able to scale, distribute and allocate fairly around the world without letting the rich countries corner the limited doses, Swaminathan said.

Australian vaccine provides protection against infection, safe for humans

A potential COVID-19 vaccine developed in Australia has showed positive results in human clinical trials. The vaccine candidate has shown zero side effects in human trials so far and has shown promising results when tried on animals.

In July, the University of Queensland (UQ) and Australian biotech giant CSL began the trial with injecting 120 Brisbane volunteers with the potential shot against the novel coronavirus infection, DailyMail reported.

After the first trial doses were administered on animals, project co-leader Associate Professor Keith Chappell said it was successful.

Cambridge University kicks off vaccine race to fight all coronaviruses

The University of Cambridge on August 26 confirmed plans to begin trials of a potential new vaccine not only against COVID-19 but all coronaviruses that may spill over from animals to humans in the future.

The new vaccine candidate, DIOS-CoVax2, uses banks of genetic sequences of all known coronaviruses, including those from bats, believed to be the natural hosts of many relatives of human coronaviruses.

A vaccine that clears all trials can then be delivered pain-free without a needle into the skin through a spring-powered jet injection.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Aug 26, 2020 10:00 pm
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