What happens if the COVID-19 vaccines fail their trials?

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Initial tests have been promising, but what happens if none of the trials pans out? The race for a COVID-19 vaccine is unprecedented: 198 potential vaccines are now in development, and that development is happening faster than it ever has in history. Moderna, for example, finalized its vaccine just days after Chinese researchers released the genetic sequence of the new coronavirus in January. Two months later, the first volunteer was dosed with the vaccine. Last week, the company published positive Phase I trial results showing that the vaccine seems safe and generates an immune response; days later, Oxford University researchers published similarly promising results. Read Full Story

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COVID-19 update: Chinese vaccine maker claims 79% efficacy as U.K. approves AstraZeneca

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The two announcements provide a welcome shot in the arm for global health efforts amid reports of a new mutation of the coronavirus. Despite a slow start to U.S. vaccinations, there was good news abroad this week as the United Kingdom gave emergency-use authorization to the COVID-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. Meanwhile in China, the state-backed drugmaker Sinopharm reported nearly 80% efficacy for its own vaccine candidate, following an interim analysis of Phase 3 clinical trials. Read Full Story

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Moderna’s encouraging vaccine trial: What we know and why the biggest hurdles are still ahead

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The Phase I trail showed encouraging results, but that’s still a long way from a working vaccine that everyone can take. Biotech company Moderna reported positive Phase 1 COVID-19 vaccine trial results this morning, boosting its stock shares by 25% and drumming up a media cyclone of excitement. What does this actually mean, though? Not as much as you hope. Read Full Story

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Report: China has approved a COVID-19 vaccine for military use

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The military research unit has eschewed phase 3 clinical trials and is going straight into use. The Chinese military has approved a COVID-19 vaccine following studies that show it is safe and has some efficacy, according to Reuters . A research unit of the Chinese military developed the vaccine in collaboration with CanSino Biologics. So far, only the military will have access to the vaccine. Read Full Story

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Meet Kathrin Jansen, the woman leading Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine effort

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The rock star scientist has a track record of producing difficult vaccines against the odds. Pfizer has made an incredible announcement: Its COVID-19 vaccine looks like it is 90% effective at preventing the disease inside its clinical trial. It’s a remarkable number: In the last 10 years, flu vaccine efficacy rates have wobbled between 19% and 60%. Outside scientists are now keen to see the full data in order to validate the findings. In the meantime, many are rejoicing at the prospect of a better tool for fighting COVID-19. Read Full Story

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Moderna is testing a COVID-19 vaccine on humans. This is what they’re not telling you

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Moderna reported positive Phase I testing results for its COVID-19 vaccine and will begin Phase III testing it on 30,000 humans in two weeks. News! Moderna reported positive Phase I testing results for its COVID-19 vaccine and will begin Phase III testing it on 30,000 humans in two weeks. (Separate Phase II trials are underway.) “No matter how you slice this, this is good news,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, our national bearer of bad news, told the Associated Press. Read Full Story

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The Gates Foundation is helping back a $3 COVID-19 vaccine

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The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is already producing millions of doses of one vaccine, so it’s ready if it passes its clinical trials. One of the biggest challenges for a coronavirus vaccine, assuming one or more of the 200-plus vaccines now in development succeed in their trials, will be making sure that the whole world, not just the wealthiest countries, has access. Rich countries like the U.S. are paying billions in advance to reserve vaccine doses for their own citizens—but vaccine nationalism can’t solve the global problem. Any successful vaccines will need to be manufactured at an unprecedented scale, and be cheap enough that they’re affordable everywhere. Read Full Story

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