Indian researchers are making strides in the search for coronavirus vaccine, the Indian government said recently. The government was optimistic that Indian researchers would find a corona vaccine by the end of the year -- way faster than the stipulated time of 10-15 years that goes into finding a vaccine. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said that human trials of a coronavirus vaccine would start within six months. India so far has 30 groups working on a coronavirus vaccine. The government has said that around six vaccine candidates have made significant developments.
The Chinese government has also said that it is optimistic that the country would find a vaccine by the end of the year. The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SAASAC) said in a social media post on WeChat that a COVID-19 vaccine would be ready for the market as early as the end of the year.
More than 2,000 people have been administered coronavirus vaccines developed by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and the Beijing Institute of Biological Products. So far, China has five vaccine candidates under trial, including Sinovac. The pharmaceutical company has said that its candidate CoronaVac would be 99 per cent effective against SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. The company has entered Stage 2 of the trials with around 1,000 people volunteering. Last month, SinoVac published their findings in a peer-reviewed academic journal Science and said that the vaccine candidate is safe and provides protection to rhesus macaques from coronavirus infection.
China's CanSino has also completed the first phase of its trials for coronavirus vaccine, Ad5-nCoV. According to the team, the vaccine candidate appears to be safe and is touted to be effective.
Meanwhile, Russian government has said that scientists plan to start clinical trials within two weeks for the country's first coronavirus drug -- avifavir, developed from the more well-known favipiravir. Additionally, the Russian government said that the nation is working on almost 50 different coronavirus vaccine projects. "The tests are under way and we plan to start clinical trials in the next two weeks," Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said.
In UK, five new coronavirus drugs will go under trial across 30 hospitals. This comes days after trials of hydroxychloroquine was stopped. Heparin used for blood thinning is one of the drug that will undergo a clinical trial. These trials are part of the Accord (accelerating Covid-19 research and development) programme that involves doctors and scientists, industry, the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation.
Canada has also approved its first clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said that the federal health authority has given the nod to Canadian Center for Vaccinology at Dalhousie University to begin clinical trials of the COVID vaccine candidate.
Japan, on the other hand, has delayed the approval of an anti-flu drug as potential coronavirus treatment. The results for Fujifilm Holdings' drug Avigan showed no solid evidence of effectiveness. Avigan has a more generic name, favipiravir.