Nearly 80 COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates Under Development


Health Editor’s Note: There are a myriad of companies working on a real vaccine for COVID-19. Since this is a novel (new) coronavirus, there is no current vaccine that will work against COVID-19. For that matter, we have very little in our medicine bag for treating severe COVID-19. Various companies all over the world are furiously working to develop a safe vaccine…..Carol

The Quest is for the Best COVID-19 Vaccine

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Pandemic spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a serious threat to communities and health care systems across the country. As of April 9, nearly 80 COVID-19 vaccine candidates pdf icon[32 pages]external icon were reported to be under development worldwide, primarily in the pre clinical stage. Multiple vaccine technologies are under evaluation, including subunit, nucleic acid, virus vector, and live attenuated virus vaccines. Many of these vaccines target the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2, which is a major virulence factor as it mediates viral attachment and entry to the host cell.

One candidate vaccine is currently in Phase II clinical trials:

  • An adenovirus type 5 vector vaccine, China

Four candidate vaccines are currently undergoing Phase I clinical trials:

  • A messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine (mRNA-1273, Moderna TX, Inc.), U.S.
  • A deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) vaccine (INO-4800, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), U.S.
  • A lentiviral vector vaccine (pathogen-specific aAPC, Shenzhen Geno-Immune Medical Institute), China
  • A lentiviral vector vaccine with cytoxic T lymphocytes (LV-SMENP-DC, Shenzhen Geno-Immune Medical Institute), China

The mRNA and DNA technologies used for the first COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials in the U.S. are novel, with no licensed human vaccine products. These technologies have the advantages of rapid vaccine development and scale-up, and thus have been used to develop candidate vaccines for other pathogens that are emerging or have pandemic potential.

Results of these and additional clinical trials will be necessary to demonstrate safety and efficacy of these and other COVID-19 vaccines in the development pipeline. An Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) COVID-19 vaccine work group has recently been initiated to help inform ACIP’s recommendations on potential use of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.


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