Dr Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, last month said that it was possible America would develop a vaccine for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic by January 2021. Given his prominence, Dr Fauci's words were reassuring and music to the ears of billions of people across the world, desperately waiting for the cure of the deadly coronavirus. As of now, there are no specific vaccines or medicines for COVID-19, which has killed 2.7 lakh people and infected 3.8 million globally.
Scientists and researchers across the world are scrambling to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, a disease caused by the highly contagious coronavirus. Several experts have already made it clear that the virus is here to stay for a long time in the absence of a cure. Only a vaccine can stop the coronavirus pandemic, therefore, as many as 80 groups of scientists and researchers are racing against time to develop one. Currently, there are more than 100 potential coronavirus vaccines undergoing clinical trials at different stages. And the closest are said to be Italy, Israel, and China.
China's first COVID-19 vaccine
Chinese scientists have claimed that they have tested successfully tested their first vaccine against COVID-19 in monkeys of Indian origin. The vaccine is reportedly being developed by Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech. According to reports, an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate has shown promising results as the experimental vaccine could help protect a monkey from the virus.
Italy claims to have developed coronavirus vaccine
Researchers in Italy have claimed to develop a vaccine that has antibodies generated in mice that work on human cells. The coronavirus vaccine developed by the Takis Company was tested at Rome's infectious-disease Spallanzani Hospital. According to the Takis CEO Luigi Aurisicchio, the COVID-19 candidate vaccine neutralised the virus in human cells. Aurisicchio said that human trials of the vaccine are likely to start after this summer.
Israel's 'significant breakthrough'
Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett has claimed a "significant breakthrough" in the process of developing a vaccine for coronavirus. He said that scientists at Israel's Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) have developed an antibody to the novel coronavirus. He said that now they will go for the patent of this potential cure and then "in the next stage, researchers will approach international companies to produce the antibody on a commercial scale". However, it is not known whether they have conducted human trials.
UK coronavirus vaccine update
Scientists at Jenner Institute of Oxford University in the UK are working at break-neck speed to develop an effective coronavirus vaccine. On April 23, the University had started phase-2 human clinical trials of its vaccine against the SARS-COV-2. Two volunteers were injected with a vaccine named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.
US coronavirus vaccine by January 2021
The US is the worst-hit country with more than 76,000 deaths and 1.3 million positive cases, therefore, it's putting more effort than any other country to find a cure. Currently, there are as many as 209 active case studies going on in the US to develop a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Regeneron, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and several other biopharmaceutical companies are working round the clock to develop a vaccine. Top US government expert Dr Anthony Fauci has claimed that the US will have a vaccine by January 2021.
Several other countries, including France, Australia, Russia and India, are also working towards the development of a coronavirus vaccine. In India, at least 30 coronavirus vaccines are in different stages of development and a few are going to trial stages.