Clinical human trials are now being performed by researchers at Imperial College London of a vaccine candidate against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It is the first time that the vaccine has been tested in humans and it will demonstrate whether the immune responses to COVID-19 are safe and successful.
Another new thing is that the vaccine development technique – called self-amplifying RNA technology – is being tested for the first time, which will allow scientists to react to emerging diseases faster in the future, an Imperial report said.
After £41 million in funding from the British government and £5 million in donations, the vaccine candidate had reportedly been developed and submitted to clinical testing.
In animal studies, the vaccine was rigorously pre-clinically tested, whereby healthy signs of successful immune response were identified and developed. Over the coming weeks, 300 healthy human participants will receive two doses of the vaccine in two periods – a first dose and four weeks later, a second boost dose.
This is in the hope that the SARS-CoV-2 virus in their bodies will create a healthy immune response. A new trial (Phase III) of about 6,000 healthy participants is expected to test its efficacy later this year. if this first study is completed.
Researchers think that with RNA amplifying technique, the immune system will be prepared to react to the coronavirus so that the body can recognize it and defend itself against COVID-19 in the future.
Scientists expect findings to be released once safety data is available and hope that the efforts underway by April 2021 will lead to a viable vaccine.
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