…from the NY Times…
In a medical research project nearly unrivaled in its ambition and scope, volunteers around the world are rolling up their sleeves to receive experimental vaccines against the coronavirus only months after it was discovered.
Companies like Inovio and Pfizer have begun early tests of candidates in people to determine whether the vaccines are safe. Researchers at the University of Oxford in Britain say they could have a vaccine ready for emergency use as soon as September.
Moderna Therapeutics on Monday announced encouraging resultsof a safety trial of its vaccine in eight volunteers. There were no published data, but the news alone sent hopes — and the company’s stock — soaring.
In labs around the world, there is now cautious optimism that a vaccine, and perhaps more than one, will be ready sometime next year. With many states and nations anxious to ease restrictions and reopen their economies despite the risk of further outbreaks, the race to create and manufacture a vaccine is more urgent than ever.
Scientists are exploring at least four approaches to creating a vaccine. The urgency is so great that they are combining trial phases and shortening a process that usually takes years.
“What people don’t realize is that normally vaccine development takes many years, sometimes decades,” said Dr. Dan Barouch, a virologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “And so trying to compress the whole vaccine process into 12 to 18 months is really unheard-of.”
“If that happens,” he added, “it will be the fastest vaccine development program ever in history.”….