With over 150 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development, including 44 candidates in clinical trials and 11 undergoing late-stage testing, the countries are leaving no stone unturned to develop the first successful vaccine against the coronavirus.

While US-based Pfizer and Moderna candidates are leading the race, China has also come up with its vaccine candidate CoronaVac which has shown effective results. Meanwhile, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping has said that Beijing is ready to cooperate with India and other BRICS nations in the development of vaccines against COVID-19. 

Here are the latest updates on COVID-19 vaccine candidates:

  • Spain has authorised phase 3 trials of the vaccine being developed by Johnson and Johnson-owned Janssen Pharmaceutica. This is the first vaccine candidate which will enter phase 3 trials in the country. The trials will be conducted in nine hospitals; 20% of the participants will be under 40 years old and 30% above 60 years old. Janssen, whose vaccine candidate is called Ad26.COV2-S, announced late September the start of phase 3 trials of its candidate.
  • Pfizer, after claiming that its vaccine candidate BNT162b2 was found to be 95 per cent effective in final results from the late-stage trial, is seeking emergency approval from the authorities. US and European regulators could approve Pfizer and BioNTech's experimental COVID-19 vaccine as early as mid-December, the German firm's chief executive said on Wednesday, following the release of positive trial results.
  • Together with Pfizer Inc's vaccine, which is also more than 90 per cent effective, and pending more safety data and regulatory review, the United States could have two vaccines authorized for emergency use in December with as many as 60 million doses of vaccine available this year.
  • In India, there is uncertainty over the mass availability of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, owing to the logistical restraints due to the requirement of the deep-freeze storage of the two candidates. Unlike Pfizer's vaccine which must be kept at -70 degree Celsuis, Moderna's shot can be stored at normal fridge temperatures, which should make it easier to distribute. 

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta