Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trial: Expert panel defers Serum Institute’s proposal

A colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient sample

Likewise, the victor of the vaccine race might be determined by the vaccine that proves most effective over the one which is developed first. In Phase 3, the vaccine is given to thousands of people and tested for efficacy and again for safety.

Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla added that that more normal seasonal pricing strategy would be based on the competition at the time and the value the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine brings to the table. That means some participants will receive a placebo and others, the potential vaccine.

"According to World Health Organization, significant progress has been achieved by the COVAX partners to date, with seven of the nine candidate vaccines supported by CEPI already in clinical trials", the DOH said.

This week, pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer announced they were launching trials of a Covid-19 vaccine which they say, if successful, could lead to approval and widespread use by the end of the year. Pfizer has a pact to sell the winning vaccine for 50 million people to the US government for around $2 billion, should it pass through the clinical hurdles.

A Moderna spokesman said the company was in discussions with governments about potential supply of the vaccine, called mRNA-1273, but did not provide any details on pricing "given the confidential nature of the discussions and contracts".

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A participant could be in the study for up to 26 months and would need to visit a study site at least six times, plus any time after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and after feeling better. Secondaries include prevention of severe COVID-19 in those groups.

"This scientifically rigorous, randomized, placebo-controlled trial is created to determine if the vaccine can prevent COVID-19 and for how long such protection may last", Fauci said, the news release indicated.

The National Institutes of Health this week announced the start of the country's first large clinical trial to investigate a COVID-19 vaccine - codeveloped by biotechnology company Moderna, Inc., and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. That trial is expected to enroll about 30,000 adult volunteers who don't have COVID-19.

"There are also wide concerns the human testing of the vaccine is incomplete", the report highlighted.

In a separate development last week, the USA federal government reportedly earmarked a whopping $1.95 billion for 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, with an option to buy up to 500 million more doses at a later date. The hope is if the immune system later is exposed to the real virus, it will attack it.

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