The cure for the deadly pandemic has turned into a global race, with countries in different phases in their respective trials.
Last week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a vaccine was the only thing to return “normalcy” to the world, and called for development projects to be accelerated.
The quest to develop an effective vaccine against the virus which has so far killed more than 177,000 people and infected 2.5 million, gathered pace this week, as clinical trials on humans were approved in different countries.
Though there are now around 150 development projects worldwide, only few countries are on clinical trials on humans.
Here are some countries currently on human trials:
In Britain, volunteers in a trial at the University of Oxford are set to be given on Thursday the first dose of a potential vaccine-ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 based on a virus found in chimpanzees.
The Oxford trial, run by the university’s Jenner Institute, will involve 510 volunteers aged between 18 and 55 in the first phase.
The Oxford trial is part of a nationwide effort in the UK is being run by Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, with the British government pledging £20m to the research.
Matt Hancock a scientist at the Oxford university announced that human trials of the vaccine will start today.
Research director Professor Sarah Gilbert estimated that it has around an 80 percent chance of being successful. The institute aims to develop a million doses of the vaccine by September, so as to distribute it as quickly as possible after approval.
A clinical trial on humans have been approved according to the country’s Federal Institute for Vaccines.
Several variants of the vaccine are being developed by German biotech company BioNTech.
BioNTech said it was developing the vaccine candidate, named BNT162, together with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
The trial in its first phase, will see 200 healthy participants between the age of 18 and 55 receive different variant of the vaccine, while the second phase could see the inclusion of volunteers who belonged to high-risk groups.
In the U.S, a biotech company Moderna in collaboration with the US National Institutes of Health has begun human trials for their vaccine
mRNA-1273, was developed by the biotech company, and it uses a segment of the virus’ genetic code rather than a piece of the virus, which they hope should make it faster to develop.
The early-stage, or phase 1, trial will test the vaccine on 45 males and non-pregnant females between the ages of 18 and 55, according to trial details on NIH’s website.
Another US lab, San Diego-based Inovio Pharmaceuticals, began first phase human trials on April 6.
Beijing approved the first trial for a vaccine developed by the military-backed Academy of Military Medical Sciences and Hong Kong-listed biotech firm CanSino Bio on March 16.
Also, Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, an affiliate of state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group, and the Beijing-based biotech firm Sinovac—for phase I testing on humans, according to China’s state-run media outlet Xinhua News.
Three particular vaccines are being tested in China, though the National Health Commission has said it will have to clear a number of conditions before they can enable mass production of the vaccines globally.