Dubai- Massader News
The following is what we know about the race to deliver vaccines to help end the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 1.7 million people worldwide:
WHO IS FURTHEST ALONG?
U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech are the COVID-19 vaccine trailblazers.
On Nov. 18, they became the first in the world to release full late-stage trial data. Britain was the first to approve the shot for emergency use on Dec. 3, followed by Canada on Dec. 9 and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 11. Several other countries including Saudi Arabia and Mexico have also approved it.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the shot on Dec. 21 and India is accelerating its review.
The World Health Organization could decide whether to give its emergency use approval for the Pfizer candidate by the end of the year as part of its COVAX programme aimed at providing shots for poor- and middle-income countries.
WHO WILL APPROVE MODERNA NEXT?
Moderna became a close second to Pfizer in many countries after it released a full data analysis for a late-stage trial on Nov. 30 showing a 94.1% efficacy rate for its vaccine. Canada approved the shot on Dec. 23 and the EMA will do so on Jan. 6.
WHO ELSE IS IN THE RUNNING?
Britain’s AstraZeneca is seeking approval for its vaccine in Britain after announcing interim late-stage trial data on Nov. 23. It had an average efficacy rate of 70% and as much as 90% for a subgroup of trial participants who got a half dose first, followed by a full dose.
However, it is not clear how the regulator will deal with the different dosages in the efficacy data in its assessment. While India is conducting an accelerated review, it has asked for more data. AstraZeneca is also in discussions with the EMA, which is conducting a rolling review of the vaccine.
India is expected to make a decision on whether to approve for the two full-dose regimen of the shot, which was shown to tbe 62% effective in late-stage trials, soon. Its review does not include the more effective dosage, with 90% efficacy which was given to a small subgroup of volunteers in the trials.
U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson plans to deliver trial data in January 2021, teeing it up for U.S. authorization in February if its shot is effective. It reduced the enrolment target for its clinical trial to 40,000 volunteers from 60,000 on Dec. 9, potentially speeding results which are tied to how quickly participants become infected.
U.S. firm Novavax is running a late-stage trial in Britain with data due in the first quarter of 2021. It expects to start a large-scale trial in the United States this month.