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Home / Tips and Tricks / Will a COVID-19 vaccine be ready in 2020? It looks like Pfizer and Moderna can make it happen

Will a COVID-19 vaccine be ready in 2020? It looks like Pfizer and Moderna can make it happen



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Experts hope that a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus will become available sooner than later.

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Visit the WHO website for the most current news and information about the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve been waiting for one or more COVID-19 vaccines for months, not only for sure when they would arrive, but how effective they would be if they did. Now it looks like the two vaccines that will most likely be the first to receive Food and Drug Administration approval will be here before 2021. Not only that, but clinical studies have shown both to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections. That means that at least nine in ten people who receive these vaccines are unlikely to get COVID-19, even if they are exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease after being vaccinated.

Last week, US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced that it is a vaccine showing 90% efficacy in tests conducted on 43,538 people in six countries, without serious safety concerns. Moderna, an American biotech company, announced this week that its vaccine has been demonstrated almost 95% effective and also relatively safe in a trial involving more than 30,000 people. Each vaccine requires a starting dose plus another “booster dose” a few weeks later.


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Both companies plan to apply for an emergency permit from the FDA this month. Pfizer expects, if authorized, to produce up to 50 million doses of vaccines by 2020 and 1.3 billion by 2021. Moderna plans to ship 20 million doses by 2020 and another 500 million to 1 billion by 2021, if permitted. With more than 330 million people in the US alone not everyone will be able to receive a vaccine Immediately – the first doses to hit the market are likely to go to health professionals, followed by essential workers, those with underlying medical conditions, and older adults.

Pfizer and Moderna represent just the tip of the iceberg. Currently, there are 67 coronavirus vaccines in various stages of clinical trials, with a handful nearly ready to apply for authorization. Most experts think we’ll have a few more ready to distribute in early 2021, but life may not return to normal until 2022.

Here we walk you through the top news about coronavirus vaccines and explain where the most promising candidates stand. This article is regularly updated and is intended as a general overview and not a source of medical advice. If you would like more information about coronavirus testing, here’s how to find a testing site near you.

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An effective coronavirus vaccine may be the only way to end preventative measures such as social distancing and face masks.

James Martin / CNET

Important news about COVID-19 vaccines

The development of the COVID-19 vaccine has been rapid

Several acceleration efforts are currently underway, such as the White House’s Operation Warp Speed, which aims to cut the red tape to accelerate vaccine development and be ready to distribute vaccines once they receive FDA approval. So far, the US government has pledged more than $ 10 billion to several vaccine manufacturers to secure a total of 800 million vaccine doses.

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Experts say the recent spikes in coronavirus cases are not just the result of the US running more tests, as a higher percentage of those tested come out positive compared to earlier stages of the pandemic.

James Martin / CNET

Vaccines typically take about 10 to 15 years to develop and approve, through four stages, including human trials. But with Operation Warp Speed, approved vaccine projects can send data to the FDA little by little, instead of submitting all of the data from a four-phase trial at once.

Meanwhile, the program also supports financial efforts to start manufacturing doses while clinical trials are ongoing. That means if and when those vaccines are approved, there will already be a supply of doses that can be distributed nationally.

Other promising coronavirus vaccines from UK, US and China

Here’s a quick look at some of the front runners alongside Pfizer and Moderna in the race to find a vaccine for COVID-19, including where the vaccines are developed, where they test them, and when scientists think they might be ready for widespread distribution, if known.


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Oxford University / AstraZeneca (UK): AstraZeneca began testing on 100,000 human volunteers in at least three countries. Lead investigator Dr. Sarah Gilbert had initially said AstraZeneca is aiming for a fall 2020 release and while that may be optimistic on this point after briefly pausing the process to investigate a participant’s illness, it does not appear to have slowed down significantly .

Sinovac (China): Currently, the vaccine is being tested on about 10,000 human volunteers in China and about 9,000 in Brazil and will soon begin testing on about 1,900 subjects in Indonesia. Honesti Basyir, the president of Bio Farma, Sinovac’s Indonesian partner, has said he expects the vaccine to be ready in early 2021.

Sinopharm (China): Currently, about 15,000 volunteers in the Middle East are being tested in a trial that the state-owned company expects to take three to six months. Initial results suggest the drug is safe and at least somewhat effective. Sinopharm recently built a second facility to produce the vaccine, doubling its capacity to approximately 200 million doses per year.

CanSino Biologics (China): CanSino’s vaccine, which will begin large-scale human trials this summer, has already been approved by the Chinese military. The vaccine is based on a modified cold virus, which some experts warn could make it less effective than other vaccine efforts.

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Wearing a face mask remains the surest way to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.

Robert Rodriguez / CNET

How many vaccines does the US need?

We probably won’t know until next year, but Fauci has suggested that we might need different vaccines created and distributed by different labs to end the pandemic, in an article published May 11 in the journal Science has been published. He has also said he envisions that different vaccines will be given to different patient populations. For example, one vaccine for the elderly or other high-risk patients, another for healthy adults and another for children.

What if people don’t trust the vaccines?

Getting one or more vaccines through clinical trials to FDA approval is just the first part of the journey. The next thing is to convince people to take it. Sixty-three percent of U.S. adults expressed concerns about the safety of a coronavirus vaccine, according to an Oct. 19 Harris Poll, with 40% of respondents specifically concerned that the development is to fast. Some people are said to be concerned about possible side effects.

Life in the US will return to normal if we achieve what scientists call “herd immunity,” which, with regard to the coronavirus, means that at least 60% to 70% of the population is immune. As long as enough people are taking the vaccine to reach that level, it doesn’t matter if a few people object or refuse to take the vaccine for other reasons, such as if they are not healthy enough to be vaccinated.

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Most experts expect a vaccine against the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, by 2021.

James Martin / CNET

What to do until a coronavirus vaccine is approved?

Coronaviruses are a large class of viruses and so far there are none of these vaccines. While early results are promising, there is no guarantee that a vaccine will be ready by 2021. Statistically, only about 6% of vaccine candidates ever make it to the market, according to an April Reuters report. However, health officials are very optimistic that the Pfizer vaccine and similar vaccines can end the coronavirus pandemic.

Whether COVID-19 vaccines are effective at stopping the spread of coronavirus depends a lot on how our bodies build up immunity to the disease. Here’s what we know so far about whether or not you can get COVID-19 more than once. Testing is also key to slowing the spread of the coronavirus – learn more about a device that can yield results in less than 90 minutes here. Finally, read how all these issues and more weigh on US President-elect Joseph Biden’s plan to fight COVID-19.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.


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