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Final Phase-3 Trials Of Covid-19 Vaccine Started In US By Moderna And Pfizer

Final Phase-3 Trials Of Covid-19 Vaccine Started In US By Moderna And Pfizer
The path for humanity to finally get a vaccine against Covid-19 seems to be near.
The third and final phase of trials for the vaccines candidates from Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc, with 30,000 subjects, have been launched and that could finally clear the way for these tow vaccine candidates to obtain regulatory approval by the end of the current year, the two companies said.
These two trials are supported by the United States government and its efforts to speed up the development of the vaccines against the novel coronavirus. This has also provided hope of bringing the pandemic ultimately top an end across the planet. 
New technology for vaccine development that will allow the companies to hasten development and manufacturing of the vaccines compared to the traditional methods and techniques have been used for both the vaccines candidates even though the new techniques do not have an extensive track record.
The technology used is based on the so-called mRNA, or synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA), which helps in the immune system in a human body to not only recognize the novel coronvirus but also to neutralize it by mimicking its surface.
Almost $1 billion in aid from the US government was given to Moderna, which has of date not brought a single vaccine to the market. The US government is support a host of vaccine development operations by a number of drug makers through its Operation Warp Speed program.
The US government has also struck a number of deals with vaccine candidates for supply of vaccines if successful. For example, it has a $2 billion deal with Pfizer for supply of vaccines for 50 million Americans if the vaccine is effective.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are currently more than 150 novel coronavirus vaccine candidates with development in various stages. About to dozen of these candidates have already entered the human trial phase. 
Clinical trials on human volunteers will be started this week for its vaccine candidate in the US by Johnson and Johnson and may begin a larger, late-stage trial as early as September.
Large scale trials of its vaccine candidates in the US will be launched by British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc sometime this summer. The vaccine candidate of AstraZeneca is in its past phase of human trials and is being prepared in partnership with researchers at the Oxford University.
“Having a safe and effective vaccine distributed by the end of 2020 is a stretch goal, but it’s the right goal for the American people,” National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins said in a press release while announcing the beginning of large Phase III trial of Moderna .
To be able to respond as soon as possible to the virus as soon as vaccines are granted approval, manufacturers have already ramped up production even while testing of many of the vaccines candidates are underway.
Covid-19 has so far killed nearly 650,000 people worldwide and battered economies.
Collins said that when and if the vaccine is deemed safe and effective, Moderna could have tens of millions of doses ready for the market.
Regulatory approval for its Covid-19 vaccine could be sought as early as October by Pfizer if the trial was successful, the company said. It added that by the end of the current year, it would be in a position to supply vaccines for 50 million people.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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