The positive COVID-19 updates from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca-Oxford give hope that the end is near for the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to plague our world for almost a year by now.
One of the most anticipated breakthroughs in medicine in 2020 is the development of an effective COVID-19 vaccine, through one of the many pharmaceutical companies that have joined the race to develop one. As confirmed by the New York Times, the process of developing a functional vaccine has several stages, all of which when combined can take several years to accomplish.
The race to debut a vaccine has attracted several pharmaceutical giants around the world. While there are currently about 54 vaccines in clinical trials involving humans with an additional 87 in pre-clinical trials involving animals according to the New York Times, only a few have made headlines in recent times with results that give hope to the entire medical world.
These companies include Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) who are jointly developing a vaccine that has reportedly recorded about 90% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 according to data released by an independent Data monitoring committee.
Besides the Pfizer-BioNTech strides, Massachusetts based Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) also shocked the medical world with the release of data from its late-stage trials, and it was discovered that its vaccine dubbed mRNA-1273 protected against COVID-19 by as much as 94.5% in clinical trials involving diverse volunteers from different regions.
Much recently, Reuters reported that the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the duo of AstraZeneca Plc (LON: AZN) and researchers from the prestigious Oxford University called AZD1222 has shown impressive efficacy in causing those aged 70 and above to produce the right antibodies that can help fight off COVID-19 according to a Phase II clinical result published in The Lancet.
“The robust antibody and T-cell responses seen in older people in our study are encouraging,” said Maheshi Ramasamy, a consultant, and co-lead investigator at the Oxford Vaccine Group. “We hope that this means our vaccine will help to protect some of the most vulnerable people in society, but further research will be needed before we can be sure.”
Stage III trials are currently ongoing to ascertain the findings and the results will be published before Christman according to Andrew Pollard, the Oxford Vaccine Group’s Director.
Expectations Mounts Following COVID-19 Vaccine Promises Shown
Expectations are currently increased from the three potential COVID-19 vaccine drugs that could come out from either one or all of the three companies in the coming weeks. While both the Pfizer-led vaccine and Moderna’s are expected to seek an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the rollout of more safety data in the coming weeks, the comparison between the perceived advantages of both promising vaccines has caused a stir in the space.
While Moderna’s vaccine can be stored and distributed under the normal standard temperature range for vaccines set at 2-8 degrees Celsius, that of Pfizer-BioNTech requires -70 degrees Celsius. The latter firm has since launched a COVID-19 vaccine delivery trial in four US States in a bid to address the distribution challenges should the vaccine be approved.
Nonetheless, the positive COVID-19 updates from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca-Oxford give hope that the end is near for the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to plague our world for close to a year now.