Global Statistics

All countries
547,115,085
Confirmed
Updated on June 23, 2022 8:27 pm
All countries
519,385,360
Recovered
Updated on June 23, 2022 8:27 pm
All countries
6,346,653
Deaths
Updated on June 23, 2022 8:27 pm

Global Statistics

All countries
547,115,085
Confirmed
Updated on June 23, 2022 8:27 pm
All countries
519,385,360
Recovered
Updated on June 23, 2022 8:27 pm
All countries
6,346,653
Deaths
Updated on June 23, 2022 8:27 pm
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Where Are Covid Vaccines Made

The Story Behind The Oxford

Preparations Made For Coronavirus Vaccine

Top image: Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the Jenner Institute. Credit: John Cairns

To date, two billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca have been released to more than 170 countries.

This marks a significant milestone in the global pandemic response. The breakthrough was supported by both long and short-term funding support from UK Research and Innovation councils with the Medical Research Council at the heart.

Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the Jenner Institute and lead scientist on the vaccine project, describes the journey from the intense early days of the vaccines development to the pivotal trial results that proved the vaccine worked.

Adaptive Design For The Solidarity Trial

A clinical trial design in progress may be modified as an “adaptive design” if accumulating data in the trial provide early insights about positive or negative efficacy of the treatment. The WHO Solidarity trial of multiple vaccines in clinical studies during 2020, will apply adaptive design to rapidly alter trial parameters across all study sites as results emerge. Candidate vaccines may be added to the Solidarity trial as they become available if priority criteria are met, while vaccine candidates showing poor evidence of safety or efficacy compared to placebo or other vaccines will be dropped from the international trial.

Adaptive designs within ongoing Phase IIIII clinical trials on candidate vaccines may shorten trial durations and use fewer subjects, possibly expediting decisions for early termination or success, avoiding duplication of research efforts, and enhancing coordination of design changes for the Solidarity trial across its international locations.

Since Early 2020 When The True Scale Of The Crisis Became Clear Astrazeneca Has Committed To Help Defeat Covid

We have donated nine million face masks to support healthcare workers in 49 countries, bolstered national COVID-19 testing effort and initiated clinical trials to investigate our new and existing medicines to see how they could treat the infection.

Recognising the urgent need for a vaccine to defeat the virus, we joined forces with the University of Oxford, bringing together its world-class expertise in vaccinology with our global development and manufacturing capabilities. We have accelerated clinical development and rapidly mobilised partnerships and a global supply chain that will support a broad, timely and equitable supply of a safe and effective vaccine around the world, if approved, and at no profit during the pandemic.

Complementing our vaccines approach, we also quickly mobilised research efforts to advance the development of a novel coronavirus-neutralising long-acting antibody combination for the potential prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to claim thousands of lives every day, we are moving quickly with our clinical trials while following strict regulatory standards, and good clinical practice and guided by robust independent data safety and monitoring boards. Given the unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 and the need for public information, we are committed to being transparent about this process.

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Pull Dna From Cold Storage

A scientist removes vials of DNA from the master cell bank, the source of every batch of Pfizers Covid-19 vaccine. The vials are kept at 150°C or below, and contain small rings of DNA called plasmids.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

spike proteins

Each plasmid contains a coronavirus gene, the genetic instructions for a human cell to build coronavirus proteins and trigger an immune response to the virus.

Scientists thaw the plasmids and modify a batch of E. coli bacteria to take the plasmids inside their cells.

E. coli

A single vial can eventually produce up to 50 million doses of the vaccine.

STEP 2

The Spread Of The Virus And The Publics Attention To Science Helped To Shorten The Timeline

Pakistan airlifts China

Cuts in time spent waiting on experimental results and public interest in science accelerated COVID-19 vaccine development.

By Rachel Lance

Six months after the first COVID-19 shots started going into arms in the United States, the pace of vaccination has slowed. Thats prompted White House officials to scale back their goal of getting at least one dose to 70 percent of all U.S. adults by July 4 theyre now aiming for 70 percent of those 27 and older.

Even so, more than 1 in 5 Americans say they wont get vaccinated, according to a recent poll by the American Psychiatric Association. Among the reasons that often pop up are worries that the vaccines were developed too fast: Normally, drug research takes years or even decades from idea to reality. The first vaccines to combat COVID-19 were developed, tested and given emergency use authorization in 11 months.

Driven by a global urgency and underpinned by decades of prior work on vaccine technology, vaccine developers found a way to chop not just days or months, but years off the timeline . What was jettisoned was not the science, or the safety tests, but rather the wait time baked into the development process waiting for results and waiting for regulatory approvals .

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A Massive Manufacturing Undertaking

Working in tandem, the teams at Puurs and Kalamazoo ordered equipment and vessels they thought theyd need. For the next 100 days, their goal was to build a formulation lab, design an industrial process, and produce the first batches of what they hoped would be an effective vaccine – one that could, in time, be distributed around the world, helping to put an end to the pandemic. The teams started changing existing filling lines, building formulations booths and new filling lines, constructing packaging lines and a freezer farm, while recruiting and training new colleagues. All those were investments at risk, thats the bet we took, says Van Steenwinkel.

In Puurs, at the very beginning, they had space in three small rooms in a new building. In Kalamazoo, they used an existing formulation area that was already being used to produce two lifesaving medications. Before they could use that area for the vaccine, they went into overdrive to produce those two medications so they didnt run into any shortages during the construction phase.

To keep with their aggressive timeline, the team decided to manufacture multiple investigational COVID-19 vaccine formulations in tandem, to be ready whenever a decision was made. Along the way, both facilities would also hire and train new colleagues to help accomplish the monumental task. All of this, of course, amid a surging pandemic. Protections were put in place to keep workers safe and to minimize downtime.

Objectives Of The Strategy

On 17 June 2020, the European Commission presented the EU Vaccines Strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing and deployment of vaccines against COVID-19.

With the vaccines strategy, the Commission supported efforts to make the process more efficient, resulting in this timeframe being reduced to less than one year for most vaccines.

The objectives of the EU Vaccines Strategy are:

  • to ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of vaccines
  • to secure timely access to vaccines for Member States and their population while leading the global solidarity effort
  • to ensure equitable and affordable access for all in the EU to an affordable vaccine as early as possible
  • to make sure that preparations are made in EU countries regarding the roll-out of safe and effective vaccines, addressing transportation and deployment needs, and identifying priority groups

The vaccine strategy should act as a reference point for Member States when formulating their national vaccination strategies.

Safe and effective vaccines started to be distributed in the EU by the end of 2020, following strict authorisation procedures and the highest safety standards.

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So How Do You Make These Vaccines

It depends on the platform. For viral-vectored vaccines, you take some of your harmless cold virus after you have added the spike protein DNA to it and grow it in a cell culture. Although the virus has been altered so it cant reproduce in the body, it can still replicate in the specially designed cells in this cell culture.

Youll then have this bulking up of the virus over the course of a few days, anywhere from four litres of cell culture up to maybe 20, 30 litres. Really high-scale production can be carried out in steel tanks the manufacturing environment can look a bit similar to a super-clean, sterile brewery. You have to make sure that your cells are in the best environment possible for them to live and to allow the virus to grow. This requires monitoring many environmental factors in and around the cell culture temperature, oxygen and CO levels, acidity and so on.

You end up with this liquid that is full of the virus that youre interested in. But its also full of materials that you dont want. So then you have what we call downstream processing, where youre purifying the virus vaccine away from all of the other components that youre not interested in.

That downstream process is very important and is highly controlled and evaluated. It involves a lot of filtration and chromatography. At the end you have to have a very safe sterile product that contains only what you want.

Why Is Production So Geographically Concentrated

German government says Covid vaccination may be made compulsory – BBC News

In the face of the global vaccine deficit, calls are growing louder to scale up manufacturing capacity in Africa and other developing regions.

Most countries in the world have no Covid vaccine manufacturing capacity, showing just how acutely vulnerable billions of people are to protectionist politics, conflicts, natural disasters and fresh surges of the coronavirus. Helen Ramscar, Royal United Services Institute

The problem, however, is that vaccine manufacturing in these parts of the world is very limited. For example, African vaccine manufacturers currently produce less than 1% of the non-Covid related vaccines that are used across the continent. It is no surprise, therefore, that Africa has no Covid-19 vaccine developer.

, developers in the US, China, India and Europe cannot tech transfer their vaccine production to the vast majority of Africa, says an anonymous expert in global health. In general, it is very difficult to execute a tech transfer for vaccines due to the sheer complexity of vaccine manufacturing. Even the labelling and packaging is extremely complicated.

Vaccine manufacturing really lends itself to being a natural monopoly. It is all about scale. So if you break it up into tiny pieces, each country making vaccines for itself, the prices will inevitably be much higher than the current situation, where you have got clusters and regional hubs.

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Who Else Can Take The Vaccine

Vaccination is recommended for persons with comorbidities that have been identified as increasing the risk of severe COVID-19, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.

Although further studies are required for persons living with HIV or auto-immune conditions or who are immunocompromised, people in this category who are part of a group recommended for vaccination may be vaccinated after receiving information and counselling.

Vaccination can be offered to people who have had COVID-19 in the past. But individuals may wish to defer their own COVID-19 vaccination for up to six months from the time of SARS-CoV-2 infection, to allow others who may need the vaccine more urgently to go first.

Vaccination can be offered to breastfeeding women if they are part of a group prioritized for vaccination. WHO does not recommend discontinuation of breastfeeding after vaccination.

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Unlocking the coronavirus secrets

To back up a bit first, designing the vaccines began far earlier than the jabs-in-arms stage. It began with of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 . By early January 2020, that genetic blueprint was in hand and the first vaccines to test were ready just a few weeks later.

For some perspective, researchers first deciphered, or sequenced, the entire human genome over a span of almost 13 years, starting in 1990 and wrapping up in 2003 . Because of advances in computers, the same task now can take only hours.

Most crucially, researchers now had the genetic instructions for making the spike proteins that the virus uses to break into cells a key ingredient for making the vaccines. Jutting out from the virus surface, these spike proteins make an easy target for the immune system to recognize. Researchers knew to zero in on those proteins thanks to decades of work studying coronaviruses, including two that have caused other outbreaks of human diseases SARS and MERS. That work also identified the best form of the protein to use: a stable form just before the virus fuses with a cell its about to infect.

Finding a delivery system

See all our coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Benefiting from past research

Recruiting volunteers

Getting fast results

Jumping the line

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Made In India Covid Vaccines Better Than Pfizer Moderna: Sii’s Adar Poonawalla

Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla on Wednesday claimed that “Made in India” Covid-19 vaccines have provided more protection against the coronavirus infection than mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna.

Speaking to ANI, the SII CEO said, “The Covid-19 vaccines which have been made in India are providing more protection against the disease than mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna.”

“It’s good that vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna are not introduced in India, because in countries like US people have taken 2nd and 3rd booster dose and still many are getting infected with Corona but in India, our vaccines have given good protection,” Poonawala stated.

On being asked about the export of the Covishield Covid-19 vaccine, the SII CEO informed that India has exported it to more than 80 countries so far.

“We have exported Covishield to more than 80 countries and 10 crore doses so far. Now, the demand for Covid vaccine has been reduced due to declining cases,” he added.

He also added that “In some countries where mRNA vaccine was given, many people were hospitalised and cases were reported in those countries because they were not providing good protection against the viral infection.”

Who Should Have The Vaccines

Vatican permits use of COVID

The aim of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is to protect those who are most at risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. Changes to recommendations in the UK vaccination programme from from the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation include:

Adults:

  • All adults in the UK are now eligible for first, second and booster doses. In England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, all adults over 18 can book their booster dose. In Wales, invitations to book booster doses will be sent out from the local health boards.
  • The gap between the second dose and booster dose has been reduced to a minimum of three months .

Children:

  • From 20th December 2021, all children aged 12-17 can book a second dose. Previously, two doses were only recommended for 16-17 year olds.

Severely Immunosuppressed Individuals:

  • Fourth doses as a booster have been recommended for severely immunosuppressed individuals, a minimum of three months after their third dose.

Immunosuppression

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

The JCVI recommended that women who are breastfeeding may be offered two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. There is no known risk associated with receiving non-live vaccines whilst breastfeeding.

Children

Priority Groups

Following advice from the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the programme has vaccinated people in the order of highest risk of severe COVID-19 disease, due to occupation, age or other risk factors. The categories are outlined below:

Who cant have the vaccines?

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Safety Monitoring After Vaccination

Even after emergency use authorization has been granted, Dr. Kenyon said that the scientists will continue to collect safety data, as they will follow the participants for up to 2 years. This adds another layer of reassurance as a person shifts from a trial to a real-life setting.

The trial is tens of thousands of participants, but for the vaccine program, you are getting into the millions. While unlikely, it may uncover any undetected toxicities that were not picked up by the trial.

The V-safe .

It is a smartphone-based system where you will be contacted actively by the CDC to see how you are doing after being vaccinated and , therefore, pick up any adverse events that were not picked up in the trials, Dr. Kenyon explained.

The Vaccine Process: From The Lab To You

Initial Development

New vaccines are first developed in laboratories. Scientists have been working for many years to develop vaccines against coronaviruses, such as those that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome . SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is related to these other coronaviruses. The knowledge that was gained through past research on coronavirus vaccines helped speed up the initial development of the current COVID-19 vaccines.

Clinical Trials

After initial development, vaccines go through three phases of clinical trials to make sure they are safe and effective. For other vaccines routinely used in the United States, the three phases of clinical trials are performed one at a time. During the development of COVID-19 vaccines, these phases overlapped to speed up the process so the vaccines could be used as quickly as possible to control the pandemic. No trial phases have been skipped.

The clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines have involved tens of thousands of volunteers of different ages, races, and ethnicities. Clinical trials for vaccines compare outcomes between people who are vaccinated and people who are not. Because COVID-19 continues to be widespread, the vaccine clinical trials have been conducted more quickly than if the disease were less common. Results from these trials have shown that COVID-19 vaccines are effective, especially against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

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Transparency And Authorisation Mechanism For Exports Of Vaccines

On 29 January 2021, the European Commission put a measure in place requiring COVID-19 vaccine exports to be authorised by Member States. This is to ensure timely access to vaccines for all EU citizens and transparency of vaccine exports outside the EU.

However, the EU will not extend the COVID-19 vaccines export transparency and authorisation mechanism, which expires on 31 December 2021. As of 1 January 2022, this mechanism will be replaced by a new monitoring tool, which will mean vaccine producers no longer have to request an authorisation for the export of vaccines outside the EU. Transparency of exports will continue to be ensured through this new tool, providing the Commission with timely, company-specific export data.

The Commission has invested large amounts of funding in the development of the production capacity of vaccine developers in the EU, and continues to monitor the epidemiological situation in order to adopt appropriate measures if necessary.

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