Another Vaccine Test for COVID-19
Researchers in the US have opened another safety test of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, this one using a skin deep shot instead of the usual deeper job. The pinch should feel like a simple skin test, the researcher told. The experiment, using a vaccine candidate developed by Inovio Pharmaceuticals, is part of a global hunt for the much-needed protection against the virus that has triggered an economic shutdown and forced people indoors as countries try to stem the spread. “It’s the most important trial that we have ever done. People are beating down the door to get into this trial,” said Dr. John Ervin, a member of Center of Pharmaceutical Research.
Two Doses of Vaccine to be tested
Inovio’s study is set to test two doses of its vaccine, code named INO-4800, in 40 healthy volunteers in the Kansas City research lab and the University of Pennsylvania. Inovio is also working with Chinese researchers to begin a similar study in that country soon. These early stage studies are the first steps to see if the vaccine appears safe enough for larger tests needed to prove whether it will protect. Even if the research goes well, it is expected to take more than a year before any vaccine could be widely available.
Several Potential Vaccines being Designed
Dozens of potential vaccines are being designed in labs around the world, expected to begin the testing process over next several months. Most of the vaccines under development have the same target, i.e. a spike protein that studs the surface of the virus and helps it invade human cells. Yet many work in quite different ways, thereby making it crucial to test different options. “The good thing is we have got a bunch of candidates,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the NIH’s Infectious Diseases Chief.