Moderna, a biotech firm has decided to share insight into their vaccine trial which has entered final stages of manufacturing an effective vaccine against Coronavirus.
Primary purpose of this knowledge sharing initiative from Moderna is to create awareness in the scientific community regarding the efficacy and safety of their vaccine candidate.
from Moderna, one of the frontrunners: "The document suggests that the first analysis of the trial data may not be conducted until late December, and that there may not be enough information then to determine whether the vaccine works." https://t.co/WuwEuIS2hm
— Virginia Hughes (@virginiahughes) September 17, 2020
Moderna is using a part of viral messenger RNA from the actual virus to trigger an immune response in the body against the virus therefore making the person immune to a possible infection from coronavirus.
An extensive document was published by the company to chalk out how they are going to carry out late stage testing. Moderna has posted modest expectations regarding their testing and they are estimating that fruitful results in terms of efficacy of the will start to come in late first quarter of 2021 or early second quarter.
It was earlier expected that a vaccine may be available by the end of this year and similar predictions were being made by President Trump as well but now the most promising vaccine candidate timeline has been pushed back as well.
No, there will be no COVID-19 vaccine before Election Day — and it'll take two years to vaccinate the US: doctor https://t.co/vqagrf2PoB
— Raw Story (@RawStory) September 7, 2020
At the same time, vaccine development pace has been worrying researchers as well who have already voiced their concerns regarding the rapid pace of vaccine development and the intentional deviation from standard safety protocols owing to the need of an effective vaccine in the shortest span of time.
To analyze the safety measures being adopted in vaccine manufacturing, researchers have repeatedly asked the forerunners of vaccine development to share their data but none of them has shared any data so far which is a matter of grave concern.
NEW: China and the U.S. are neck-and-neck in the race for a coronavirus vaccine, sparking worries of "vaccine nationalism." But "winning" the race is the wrong way to think about the problem, many scientists argue. @carolynyjohnson @evadou https://t.co/BD9a2oCG1m
— LenaSun (@bylenasun) June 3, 2020
Why are there ethical worries around developing a COVID-19 vaccine?
As scientists rush to find a treatment, several experts are sounding the alarm on potentially dubious testing practices. @AJStream takes a look at the medical debate LIVE on YouTube: https://t.co/ltstm1wOU5 pic.twitter.com/yo5HZ8IWha
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) July 14, 2020
Other than Moderna, there are few notable names including Pfizer and AstraZeneca which have entered trial phase of their vaccine candidates as well. While Pfizer is expanding their trial population by another 14000 candidates, they are yet to record safety and efficacy data which is expected in October end.
AstraZeneca has stopped its trials in both US and UK after encountering an unexpected illness in one of the candidates. In UK, AstraZeneca has resumed its trials but they are still suspended in US.
According to Moderna, they are aware of the cynicism towards coronavirus vaccines and they way they are being developed at an unusually rapid pace; therefore the firm has decided to be the first one to disclose their procedure in order to restore the trust of masses in their vaccine.
We are proud to participate in this pledge to uphold the integrity of the scientific process in the research and development of a #COVID19 vaccine. #WeStandWithScience, and @BioNTech_Group, we invite you to stand with us. https://t.co/O1wDca3KoU pic.twitter.com/34Y2VMRTrS
— Moderna (@moderna_tx) September 8, 2020
Moderna has made sure that they do not leave out any detail in the extensive document published regarding their vaccine. Moderna has also called on their investors to discuss the future development of vaccines and interestingly this release of information has coincided with that.
This move from Moderna may just be the ray of hope for researchers as the extensive protocols of vaccine trial has also been shared for general public. But researchers have perceived this move with mixed reviews. A few of them think that this major step from Moderna is promising as it will compel the other biotechnology firms to disclose their protocols.
— Moderna (@moderna_tx) September 17, 2020
While certain other researchers have expressed disappointment in due to the apparent shortcuts that are being taken to develop this vaccine at a rapid pace. According to these researchers a vaccine this important must be developed without any haste and pressure because millions of lives are at stake and the stakes have never been higher for a vaccine before.
It is pertinent to mention that vaccine developing firms have to rethink their timelines and push them to mid 2021 or even to late 2021 because of safety and efficacy uncertainties. Similar views were shared by the head of CDC who categorically highlighted the importance of masks to curb the virus as compared to dependence on a vaccine anytime by the end of current year.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield testified that mask-wearing may be a more effective protection against coronavirus than a vaccine, adding that the American public has not yet embraced the use of masks to a level that could effectively control the outbreak https://t.co/q9KiaKxCLm
— CNN (@CNN) September 16, 2020