These potential Covid-19 vaccines are racing against time

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By PAOLA NAVARETTE

Illustration by ARIANA CAMILLE MARALIT 

Although physicians still have no vaccine or cure for the novel coronavirus disease, pharmaceutical companies and research labs around the world are working at full tilt to develop them. According to the World Health Organization, more than 20 potential vaccines aimed at preventing Covid-19 are in development around the world. Here are some recent developments in the race to find treatments for the disease.

China

Scientists from the Academy of Military Medical Scientists have recently been authorized to start clinical trials on a possible vaccine. Xinhua News

In China, 1,000 scientists are at work on a vaccine, and the health response has already been militarized: Researchers at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, along with biotech firm CanSino Biologics, have developed what is considered the nation’s front-runner candidate for success. CanSino’s candidate uses its adenovirus-based viral vector vaccine platform. In 2017, the same technology helped the company earn a Chinese nod for its Ebola vaccine, which was the first Ebola shot approved anywhere else in the country. Many Chinese scientists have also been testing a combination of HIV drugs against the novel coronavirus disease, as well as an experimental drug named remdesivir, which was developed to fight the Ebola virus.

US

A pharmacist administered a shot in the first stage of a clinical trial for a potential vaccine from Moderna Inc. AP

In a bid to curb the spread of the disease, the US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are now slashing red tape to expedite research so promising vaccines can be developed as quickly as possible.…

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