The United Nations launched an initiative with world leaders and the private sector to speed up the development of potential treatment and vaccines against the COVID-19 global pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) draft landscape indicates that there are already 6 candidate vaccines in clinical evaluation and 77 candidate vaccines in preclinical evaluation – to date, only two are in the human trials stage. So far the race to develop a vaccine, as well as find an effective treatment, continues for the pharmaceutical industry.
However, it’s not only biotech firms and pharmaceutical companies that are in the race – university researchers are also contributing in the efforts to discover and develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The University of Oxford, with a £20-million support from the British government, is already one step ahead with its vaccine already in clinical trials as of this April. Harvard University candidate vaccine isn’t far behind with clinical trials expected soon. Harvard also has age-specific and sub-unit vaccines under development.
“We don’t yet know which vaccine is ultimately going to be the safest, the most effective, and the most deployable. Ultimately, if we have two or more vaccines that become available for COVID-19, that would be a good thing because each vaccine is different. Each vaccine is going to have its own particular characteristics,” Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research and Harvard Medical School professor of medicine Dan Barouch, M.D. expressed.