Researchers from various countries are trying hard to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus that originated from China and spread across the world. Renowned Labs are working for permanent protection against this deadly virus. The experts believe that by using advanced techniques, they could make an effective vaccine in only a few weeks.
One of the vaccinology professors at Icahn School of Medicine, Florian Krammer said they are aware of their capabilities and can make an effective vaccine in labs in only two weeks but the manufacturing procedures and regulatory hurdles of any new vaccines would take months to surpass.
One of the senior scholars at the Johns Hopkins Center, Dr. Amesh Adalja said they may be conducting clinical trials within one year but it seems impossible to make coronavirus vaccine commercially available with a year.
On Thursday, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak which started in Wuhan a global health emergency.
Countries around the globe are reporting confirmed cases of coronavirus including the United States, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Macau, Malaysia, Australia, France, Germany, South Korea, Hong Kong, Canada, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, Nepal, Cambodia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdome, Finland and Russia.
The United States had first case coronavirus due to person-to-person transmission when a Chicago woman passes the virus to her husband.
Krammer said that labs around the world are adapting their experiments and efforts on the previous coronavirus vaccines for MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) to provide prevention and stop the spread of this pathogen. There are already MERS and SARS vaccines that work. Researchers are trying to model a new vaccine with the new coronavirus, based on already made vaccines and Krammer’s lab is already working on that. Almost 50 labs in the United States are working on this right now.
Various efforts are being done for developing the vaccine against 2019-nCoV. The most high-profile efforts include:
- A biotech company in Massachusettes, Moderna is working for a vaccine development that is genetically designed by the researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH is hoping to have safety trials for coronavirus vaccine afoot by April.
- A biotech firm, Inovio is preparing for the lab and animal testing of the novel vaccine of its design. The effort is supported by the grant of $9 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
- Pharmaceutical industry Johnson & Johnson is also making efforts for vaccine development, but it may take a year as told by its senior scientists.
Vaccine manufacturers also need to prove to federal regulators that their vaccine against novel coronavirus is safe and effective, and is of the highest standards. They need to make good quality vaccines that are accepted by regulatory agencies which are bit difficult because it includes sourcing good quality materials, also need to go through extensive testing for releasing these vaccines.
Krammer concluded it will take a few months to make a vaccine available for trials. The main questions are how long its production will take once the Food and Drug Administration allows its application in population, and how much time will it take to produce sufficient doses?