As the world nears the end of July, new research declares promising results for the latest Coronavirus vaccines. There are more than 3,800,000 confirmed cases in the United States and more than 14,700,000 cases worldwide. The public has been waiting patiently for a vaccination; however, there are multiple steps that must be completed before a vaccine is deemed effective.
Before a vaccination is permitted for public-use, there are several steps and guidelines in order to ensure its success. First, the vaccine must be developed and studied before it can be tested on people. At this stage, the vaccine is considered “preclinical”, which means that it is being changed and updated frequently. There are more than 100 vaccinations that are in this stage, and only 18 have moved to Phase I of the testing stage. Researchers will begin testing a small group of people to monitor the dosage and efficiency of the vaccine. As it becomes available to pass to Phase II, more participants from different ages are involved. Essentially, the trials are expanded from Phase I and are studied more closely in the following phases. The Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) has declared that the vaccine must protect at least 50% of all vaccinated participants to be labeled “effective” and succeed to the third and final phase of testing. Phase III incorporates testing thousands of people from different age groups and monitoring their results. Once the test trials conclude, official regulators will review the results and determine whether the vaccine will be approved for commercial use.
Oxford University and AstraZeneca, a global bio-pharmaceutical company, have recently conducted a trial for their prototype vaccine. Researchers have published their data in a general medical journal, The Lancet. Their test vaccine consists of a combination of genetic material from the Coronavirus and a modification of the Adenovirus, which causes mild respiratory illnesses. They tested 1,000 participants between the ages of 18 to 55 in their trial. Overall, the vaccine was mostly accepted by the participants tested; some reported that they experienced mild symptoms, such as fatigue and headaches, but there were no severe reactions.
Oxford and AstraZeneca are not the only institutions experimenting for a vaccination. There are currently hundreds of trials that are being conducted throughout the globe in search of a solution. Pfizer, a premier bio-pharmaceutical company, and BioNTech, a biotechnology company, have partnered together to create their own Coronavirus vaccine. Although their research is receiving a great response, it is still in the testing phases. They have confirmed that their vaccine has been able to produce an immune response in patients, but it has not been approved for the public.
Companies and corporations are currently racing against the clock to find a vaccine. Normally, creating a vaccine would take years to develop before they are allowed to be reproduced. During these difficult times, researchers are hoping to simplify the time to only a few months. At this moment, time will be the hardest deciding factor for the production of an effective and successful Coronavirus vaccine.