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What other vaccines are being developed across the world?

By Nina Massey, PA Science Correspondent
·4-min read

The approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is the first of what experts hope will be one of many options.

Since the start of the pandemic, scientists around the world have been racing to develop a jab that prevents Covid-19.

There have already been a host of positive preliminary trial results for other candidates, including by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and US company Moderna.

So what do we know about other vaccine candidates being developed?

– Oxford/AstraZeneca

Many people are eagerly awaiting the regulatory approval of the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.

The UK has placed orders for 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine – enough to vaccinate most of the population – with a rollout expected in the coming weeks if the jab is approved by the MHRA.

Oxford data indicates the vaccine has 62% efficacy when one full dose is given followed by another full dose, but when people were given a half dose followed by a full dose at least a month later, its efficacy rose to 90%.

The combined analysis from both dosing regimes resulted in an average efficacy of 70.4%.

Coronavirus – Mon Nov 23, 2020
A vial of the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University (John Cairns/University of Oxford)

– Moderna

Final results from the trials of Moderna’s vaccine suggest it has 94.1% efficacy, and 100% efficacy against severe Covid-19.

Nobody who was vaccinated with the vaccine known as mRNA-1273 developed severe coronavirus.

Moderna said the trial results indicate the jab is generally well tolerated with no serious safety concerns.

The US company is in the process of seeking regulatory approval for its vaccine with regulators across the world.

If approved for use in the UK, it could be rolled out in the spring.

– Novavax

The UK is supporting and providing infrastructure to Novavax in running a phase three clinical trial.

The plans are to manufacture the vaccine in the UK with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.

Clinical data for early phases of the trial suggested the vaccine triggers an immune response greater than that in patients who have recovered from the disease.

The company’s ongoing phase three clinical trial in the UK to evaluate the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of NVX-CoV2373 is expected to be fully enrolled by the end of November.

Depending on the overall Covid-19 attack rate, interim data in the UK trial, which is also event-driven, are expected as soon as in the first quarter of next year.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

– Janssen

Phase three trials of the Janssen vaccine started in mid-November with the aim of enrolling 6,000 people in the UK, and a total of 30,000 globally.

The jab has already undergone phase one and two trials, and interim analysis of the single-dose study suggests the Covid-19 vaccine candidate induces a robust immune response and is generally well-tolerated.

The UK researchers say the timing of results for their study will depend on global recruitment to the trial and the incidence of Covid-19.

They add that recent vaccine trials suggest it generally takes six to nine months to get an outcome, but it could be longer for trials starting out now.

– Imperial College London

The Imperial College London vaccine is in phase one of clinical testing, where doses are being given to a small group of people to determine whether it is safe and to learn more about the immune response it provokes.

Professor Robin Shattock, who is leading Imperial’s vaccine effort, said data on its efficacy will be available in the middle of next year.

– Valneva

Valneva’s site in Livingston, West Lothian, will manufacture the vaccine, and clinical trials are expected to start before the end of the year.

The company anticipates that it could potentially reach a first regulatory approval in the second half of 2021.

Coronavirus – Tue Jun 23, 2020
Imperial College London’s vaccine being developed in the lab (Imperial College London/PA)

– Russia

Second interim trial data for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine suggests the jab provides 91.4% protection 28 days after the first dose and the researchers say the figure is as high as 95% 42 days after the first dose.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund – which is the country’s sovereign wealth fund – said that the vaccine will cost less than 10 dollars (£7) per dose for international markets and is expected to become available in February 2021.

The findings, which are yet to be peer-reviewed, are from new clinical trial data based on 39 confirmed cases and 18,794 patients.

– China

Preliminary studies suggest a Chinese coronavirus vaccine candidate appears to be safe and induces an immune response in healthy volunteers.

Phase one/two trials of an inactivated Sars-CoV-2 vaccine candidate – CoronaVac – involved more than 700 healthy volunteers aged 18-59 recruited in China between April 16 and May 5.

According to preliminary results, the vaccine appeared to be safe and well tolerated at all tested doses.

Phase three trials of the vaccine are continuing.