The quest for a vaccine against the COVID-19, this is a real race global faster than ever, with huge financial stakes.
July 10, 2020 22h56
Vaccine against the COVID-19: rare bird, a golden-egg-or smoke and mirrors?
PARIS — The quest for a vaccine against the COVID-19, it is the equivalent of “around the world in 80 days”: a race to global faster than ever, with huge financial stakes. But beware of the effects of announcement, hopes disappointed, and security problems, warn experts.
How many vaccines?
In his last point, dated 6 July, WHO identifies 21 “candidate vaccines evaluated in human clinical trials around the world (up from 11 in mid-June).
The third of these trials is made in China. This country, which has seen the emergence of the virus SARS-CoV-2, wants to be the first to have a vaccine, and does not hesitate to multiply the proceedings accelerated.
Most of the current trials are still in the stage called phase 1, which aims primarily to evaluate the safety of the product, or even in phase 2 (where you can already explore the question of the effectiveness).
Two of the candidates are the highest stage, phase 3, where the efficiency is measured on a large scale: the european project of the University of Oxford, in cooperation with the company, AstraZeneca, and the chinese, the laboratory, Sinovac, in partnership with the research institute of the brazilian Butantan.
In addition to the testing already started, WHO accounts for 139 projects vaccine candidates that are in pre-clinical phase of development.
There are different approaches, with categories of vaccines, proven or, on the contrary, experimental.
Some teams are working on different types of vaccines that use a virus that was “killed” (these are the type vaccines “inactivated”) or made less virulent (the “live-attenuated”).
There are also vaccines that are called “sub-unit”, with a base of proteins (antigens) that trigger an immune response, virus-free.
Other vaccines, called “viral vector”, are more innovative: it uses as a support or another virus (e.g. measles, such as the Pasteur Institute) that transforms and adapts to fight the COVID-19.