Covid-19 and vaccine projects
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is currently overseeing the UN's global vaccine access scheme for Covid-19.
José Manuel Barroso (former President of the European Commission) takes over the presidency of Gavi.
In an attempt to avoid a hypothesis of 2 million deaths from Covid-19, a frantic vaccine race has been launched.
Long before the initial forecasts, one or more vaccines of European, Chinese or American origin could be available before the end of 2020.
There are nearly 170 vaccine projects in the world against Covid, a first.
Six are in phase 3, which corresponds to efficacy and tolerance studies on tens of thousands of humans. If there are fewer disadvantages than advantages, it could eventually be put on the market.
The top 4 projects are:
1) That of the University of Oxford and the Anglo-Swedish laboratory Astra Zeneca. It uses an attenuated viral vector (adenovirus) which does not replicate (in theory without danger) and which carries the famous Spike protein. It is a vaccine strategy which would be reliable and which would have been proven in the past, being able to confer a durable protection. The trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the University of Oxford resumed in the week of September 20, 2020, after it was stopped on September 6 following the development of an autoimmune disease (transverse myelitis) in a participant in Great Britain.
2) The Chinese project of army doctors and Can Sino Biologics has the same approach.
3) CoronaVac is the name of the Chinese vaccine for Sinovac. It uses an inactivated version of the coronavirus. This category of vaccine causes a lot of side effects with strong immunity.
4) The vaccine from the American biotech Moderna uses RNA. It uses viral nucleic acids (RNA or DNA). Their purpose is to integrate or interfere with the genome of human cells to produce a viral protein that causes immune cells to react. Only small problem: this technology has never been marketed to date; the long-term risks as well as the effectiveness of this technology remain ignored.
Sputnik V is the Russian vaccine that has received triumphant announcements and which, for others, is still not ready!
A very premature announcement since the final clinical trial phases of the vaccine had not yet started. And in the results of phases 1 and 2, with a very large number of participants: 73, there are improbable repetitions.
The Russian research center announced Thursday, October 1, 2020, that the first clinical trials of a second vaccine have been successful.
For each country, it is a question of ensuring that its population can have sufficient doses. For this, Australia and Latin America demanded free access to future vaccines at the United Nations Annual General Assembly. The United States, Europe and Japan have already reserved more than half of the doses that would be available initially.
Confusion between speed and precipitation:
The European Union has pledged to buy 300 million doses of a vaccine about which it does not know much. The phase 3 vaccine candidates all target the same protein, but without any guarantee of effectiveness, even if they are poor. If nothing better, the states will buy them!
The evaluation of the effectiveness is done by randomized trials against placebos. You have to follow people for months and see if the infection rate in the vaccinated group is different from that of the placebo group. If the pathogen does not circulate much, the unvaccinated are not much more likely to be infected than the vaccinated.
Experimental infections or infectious challenges are practiced by inoculating the infectious agent. This can be done in some cases if effective treatment is available. The question for Covid vaccine trials is being debated internationally, but the UK has just announced this type of trial for 2021.
The danger in speeding up the evaluation process for a vaccine, which can sometimes take up to 10 years, is to miss the optimal dose and / or the adjuvant that would increase its effectiveness. The product would then be less relevant.