The coronavirus vaccine now being developed in China by CanSino Biologics Inc. has given hope that a safe drug to combat Covid-19 could be a reality sometime soon although researchers are still in the dark about the effectiveness of a single one-dose treatment. Some of them are working on antibody medications that would work just like the plasma transfusions of COVID-19 survivors, and others are creating vaccines that would hopefully train their immune systems to produce their own antibodies capable of neutralizing the virus.
But the company, which is developing the vaccine in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci leads, has yet to publish detailed results from the trial, fueling concerns among researchers about how much the announcement can be trusted.
"But I hope that in connection with the pandemic the control institute will consider our application in an expedited manner. we plan to get by June 15 this permission and start human trials", Gintsburg said.
"The vaccine induced what we call neutralizing antibodies, as opposed to just binding antibodies, and neutralizing antibodies are antibodies that actually can block the virus", said Fauci.
Between 100,000 and 150,000 people may be enrolled in the studies, said Dr. Larry Corey, a vaccine expert at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, who is helping design the trials.
He said it was full steam ahead.
Some 36 percent of respondents said they would be less willing to take a vaccine if US President Donald Trump said it was safe, compared with only 14% who would be more interested.
The effort fits into the research and development arm of "Operation Warp Speed", the White House program announced last week to accelerate development of the coronavirus vaccine. Only then would a vaccine developer commit to manufacturing millions of doses. Fauci said that has meant moving forward with production before testing can be completed.
"The risk is not to the patient because the safety and the scientific integrity is intact", Fauci added.
There are more than 100 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development globally, including some already in human clinical trials. He said Friday that the "schedule is still intact", but cautioned that there could be obstacles.
Collins would not name other candidates on the United States' list of 14, but said they will need to finish the safety tests before this summer to get to the bigger tests. "What is inevitable is that we will see cases".
We have all pretty much come to the realization that the coronavirus is not going anywhere for a while unless we all are immunized.
In theory this will encourage the body to make antibodies that latch on to the surface of the coronavirus and neutralise it, and while Moderna's data suggest this could be possible the truth will only be discovered in a large-scale trial due to start in the coming months. And right now, we don't know what to say about that. "You have to have a certain degree of realism and humility about it".
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