When are we getting a coronavirus vaccine? An investigation

When are we getting a coronavirus vaccine? An investigation

Words by Tom Parker

There’s about 35 companies and academic institutions racing to create a coronavirus vaccine.

The world is at a standstill as the coronavirus continues to lurk in the shadows. There’s only so much effectiveness in preventative measures – people still need to go to the supermarket, we still need to see our love ones and for some of us, we still need to venture outside of our homes for work.

That’s the Australian model at least, and as long as that persists, there will always be the risk of transmission. So what will solve this thing once and for all? A vaccine will.

A vaccine is the only measure that’s foolproof upon creation; while it’s unlikely it will work for everyone, it is sure to stop this thing in its tracks.

So where are we at with it?

According to The Guardian, there are about 35 companies and academic institutions working together to create the first COVID-19 vaccine.

One of those is Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, which has now begun the first stage of testing potential vaccines for coronavirus. The testing is expected to take three months and is taking place at CSIRO’s high-containment biosecurity facility in Geelong.

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⁣COVID-19 Update ⁣🔬⠀ ⠀ ⁣Our researchers have started pre-clinical trials of potential COVID-19 vaccines at our Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong.⠀ ⠀ The work is part of our strategic partnership with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).⠀ ⠀ The two vaccines come from ⁣@oxford_uni (UK) and @inovio.pharmaceuticals (US), as identified by CEPI with the World Health Organization (@WHO).⠀ ⠀ The pre-clinical trials will test the vaccines for efficacy. They’ll also evaluate which delivery method might be most effective for protection against the virus, such as intra-muscular injection or a nasal spray.⠀ ⠀ The testing is a crucial milestone in the fight against COVID-19, made possible by collaboration both within Australia and across the globe.⠀ ⠀ ⁣🔗 For more click the link in our bio.⠀ ⠀ #Coronavirus #COVID19 #CSIRO #WeLoveScience #Research #OutsmartEpidemics ⠀

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It was last year that CSIRO teamed up with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a global entity that works to derail epidemics by speeding up the development of vaccines.

It was then in January that CEPI engaged CSIRO to begin working on the virus that causes coronavirus, SARS CoV-2 and after the success of vaccine candidates from The University of Oxford (UK) and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (US), CEPI employed CSIRO to undergo its first pre-clinical trials.

Alongside that, CSIRO continues to progress its own vaccine candidates.

“Beginning vaccine candidate testing at CSIRO is a critical milestone in the fight against COVID-19, made possible by collaboration both within Australia and across the globe,” CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said via the CSIRO website.

“CSIRO researchers are working around-the-clock to combat this disease which is affecting so many – whether it’s at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) or at our state-of-the-art biologics manufacturing facility – we will keep working until this viral enemy is defeated.”

While CSIRO want to have the vaccine ready as soon as possible, they understand the need for quality control and producing something that’s safe.

“We have been studying SARS CoV-2 since January and getting ready to test the first vaccine candidates as soon as they are available,” CSIRO’s coronavirus vaccine lead, Professor Trevor Drew said.

“We are carefully balancing operating at speed with the critical need for safety in response to this global public health emergency.”

The first human-testable vaccine was produced by Boston-based biotech Moderna – it’s set to enter human testing this month. The Janssen unit of Johnson & Johnson in Italy are working on a candidate while Spain is also working away at something through their National Biotechnology Centre of the Spanish National Research Council.

CureVac AG is also developing a vaccine from Germany and that’s not the beginning of the world’s efforts with China, Canada, South Korea and other countries all across the world working towards a cure.

It’s a heated race to who can produce the first safe coronavirus vaccine, let’s hope it comes together as soon as possible.

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