Researchers are continuing to work on developing Covid-19 vaccines, and several have started showing positive results.
Here's the latest on where the process stands:
- One vaccine appears safe (but more research is needed): Early results of a closely watched Phase 1/2 trial published in The Lancet suggest a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca is safe and induces an immune response. However, researchers stressed more study is needed to know whether the vaccine protects people against the virus.
- About the timetable: AstraZeneca told a US congressional hearing on Tuesday that it is on track to have a possible vaccine ready as early as September. But hours later, the head of the UK vaccine task force warned a possible coronavirus vaccine is unlikely to be made widely available before 2021. Meanwhile, other company executives said they were aiming for early 2021.
- Companies are moving quickly, but safely: A number of representatives from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies testified before Congress yesterday. When asked whether the speed at which they are moving to develop a Covid-19 vaccine could influence safety, they insisted that was not the case.
- Other results: A Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech was shown to elicit "robust" antibody and T cell immune responses in an early phase one/two study, the companies announced in a press release on Monday. That data has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal
- How a vaccine would be distributed in the US: The US Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense announced an agreement today with Pfizer Inc. for “large-scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States" after it is successfully developed and approved. If the vaccine is successful and receives EUA or licensure, nationwide delivery would begin in the fourth quarter of 2020. The doses would be delivered to locations at the US government’s direction and it would be available to American people at no cost, a released said.