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1. SPUTNIK V: Approved on August 11, 2020. The Russian health ministry registered the first vaccine against COVID-19, named Sputnik V. The vaccine was developed by the Russian biotech company Gamaleya. Sputnik V is currently on clinical trials in a number of countries. Last week, the Russian Health Ministry announced that the first batch of Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 has been released into "civil circulation". No price has been published yet for the Sputnik V.
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2. AD5-NCOV: Approved on June 25, 2020. Cansino Biologics' Ad5-nCoV vaccine was approved by the Central Military Commission of the People's Liberation Army. Based on adenovirus type 5, the vaccine was developed jointly by CanSino and China's military research unit. The shot showed promise following the end of Phase 2 trials. On August 10, 2020, CanSino has announced it was set to launch a Phase III trial of Ad5-nCOV in Saudi Arabia. No price has been published for the shot yet.
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3. SINOVAC: Approved in June. SinoVac Biotech's coronavirus vaccine in a front-runner among the WHO-listed candidate vaccines. On August 28, 2020 (Friday) Chinese state media Xinhua reported that two vaccine candidates in China were approved in June for the emergency-use programme were launched in July. Reuters also reported that Sinovac Biotech's coronavirus vaccine candidate had been approved for "emergency use" in China. On September 7, 2020, China displayed its homegrown coronavirus vaccines for the first time at the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing.
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4. SINOPHARM: Approved on September 14, 2020. The UAE announced the approval of a vaccine for front-line workers. The UAE has hosted the world's first Phase III clinical trials for an inactivated vaccine. The six-week Abu Dhabi trial was conducted on 31,000 volunteers from 125 different nationalities. The vaccine was developed by Sinopharm CNBG. Clinical data show that the vaccine is both safe and effective and triggers strong immune response, generating antibodies to the virus, according to Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention. The vaccine was also administered successfully on 1,000 volunteers with chronic diseases. Photo shows Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, acting undersecretary, Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, taking part in the Abu Dhabi trial.
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Following are leading vaccine candidates undergoing final clinical trials.
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FRONT-RUNNER: On September 16, 2020 (Wednesday), Pfizer Inc. said its vaccine trial showed promising safety signs after more than 12,000 people received their second of two doses. Pfizer is in the final stages of Phase 3 trials for its coronavirus vaccines developed jointly with Germany's BioNTech. As of September 7, 2020, Pfizer-BioNTech had already enrolled 25,189 patients in the phase 2/3 clinical trial for its BNT162b2 shot.
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BHARAT BIOTECH: On September 15, 2020, Indian health regulators said Covaxin, developed by India’s Bharat Biotech, is on track with its Covaxin clinical trial. Bharat Biotech is one of the two locally developed vaccines undergoing tests. Both Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech have completed Phase-I trials. Results are being analysed. They have started recruitment for Phase II studies.
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mRNA-1273: On July 26, 2020, Moderna kicked off the phase 3 clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine in multiple sites, mostly in the US. The trial seeks to enroll a diverse population (27% non-White Americans), out of the target of 30,000 subjects. Volunteers enrolled early in the study are starting to contribute to the efficacy readout now. Participants currently being enrolled will get their booster shot after four weeks and will start contributing to the efficacy readout (whether or not they get COVID-19) two weeks after that.
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SERUM INSTITUTE: On September 15, 2020 (Tuesday), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director general Dr Balram Bhargava said that Serum Institute of India (SII) has completed Phase II-B3 trials. The pharma company will start Phase-III trial at 14 locations after clearances.
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WHO LIST: The world desperately needs a vaccine to end the COVID-19 pandemic. According to September 9, 2020 "landscape" list published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are currently at least 12 vaccine candidates undergoing Phase 3 trials. The platforms used by the frontrunners include (a) inactivated, (b) messenger RNA, (c) Adenovirus, (d) DNA, and (e) protein sub-unit.
Image Credit: AP