Covid-19: A vaccine in circulation since September 2020?
The race for the vaccine is accelerating to eradicate the coronavirus. AstraZeneca has announced that it will be able to supply 300 million doses of its vaccine starting in September 2020.
It will be released a little faster, while human clinical trials have only given their first results.
Is there a vaccine available sooner than expected? The pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca has announced that it will be able to distribute 300 million doses of its vaccine under study from September 2020. And they explain "being able to produce one billion doses of its vaccine ChAdOx1 n-CoV-19 against SARS-CoV-2 responsible for Covid-19".
But how does this candidate vaccine work? It is live and recombinant, based on the use of a chimpanzee adenovirus (a medium-sized virus whose genome is made up of double-stranded DNA, either from two complementary strands of DNA or RNA), genetically modified "to serve as a viral vector". Responding to the name of ChAdY25 / ChAdOx1, this viral vector aims to react the immune system by producing proteins from viruses or other diseases by inducing a response.
Clinical trials with this molecule have been carried out in 2018 to fight the flu and in 2020 to eradicate two other diseases, tuberculosis and MERS. Experimental vaccines that have given satisfactory results, with a specific immune response, and whose structure has been used to develop a molecule capable of inducing an immune response against Covid-19. But there is nothing to indicate that these vaccines really protected people who entered these clinical trials. And for good reason: These studies included only 50 people, all adults and in good health.
Last May, as Sud Ouest reminds us, "a study evaluating the ability of ChAdOx1 n-CoV-19 to induce a specific immune response and protection against SARS-CoV-2 in animals (mice and rhesus macaques) was published in prepress ", with quite interesting results as well, since guinea pigs that received this candidate vaccine during the test produced specific antibodies and presented 28 days later" a reduced viral load in the lungs ", compared to those that received a placebo.
In April 2020, the first human tests were conducted in Britain, on healthy volunteers aged 18-55. A first phase of the clinical trial due to end in May 2021. Phase 2 of this trial, comprising more than 10,000 people of all ages, is currently underway. But research can be quick, it can be a bit arrogant to get a vaccine into circulation when the first results are barely known.
AstraZeneca is betting that its vaccine will work, so it should be available starting in September, while others will expect more viable and safer results. A bet that could be expensive if its effectiveness is not successful either.