What progress has been made as of May 2020?
Research on the virus is being conducted at a breakneck pace. About 80 groups of scientists around the world are researching coronavirus vaccines. Several vaccines are currently in clinical trials. The first data on human-tested vaccine components are available in Europe. Positive results were obtained in the first eight patients for all antibodies produced that can neutralize the virus.
The first human trial began in Oxford, on over 800 recruits who signed an agreement with AstraZeneca to supply 100 million doses (30 million for the UK) if the vaccine works
Pharmaceutical giants Sanofi and GSK team up to develop Covid-19 vaccine
Australian scientists have begun administering two potential vaccines to ferrets. This is the first comprehensive preclinical study in animals. The researchers hope to test the vaccines in humans by the end of spring. However, no one knows yet how effective any of these vaccines will be.
When will we have the coronavirus vaccine?
It usually takes years, if not decades, to develop a final vaccine. The researchers hope to achieve the same amount of work in just a few months. Most experts believe the coronavirus vaccine will become available by mid-2021.
- It will be a huge scientific feat, but so far there is no guarantee that the vaccine will work.
- To date, four types of coronavirus are already circulating in humans. They cause cold symptoms and we don't have vaccines for them yet.
What else has been done to create a vaccine?
Numerous research groups have developed potential vaccines, but there is still a lot of work to be done to complete the research:
Tests must show that the vaccine is safe. Wouldn't be helpful if it caused more problems than illness
Clinical trials should also show that the vaccine triggers an immune response that protects people from getting sick.
- A huge scale vaccine production method must be developed for billions of potential doses
- Medicines regulators must approve it before it can be made available
- Finally, there will be a huge logistical problem of actually being able to vaccinate most of the world's population. Territorial blockages can slow this process down.
- If fewer people are infected, it will take longer to find out if the vaccine actually works.