Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker

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NY Times Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker

By Carl ZimmerJonathan Corum and Sui-Lee WeeUpdated December 2, 2020

Vaccines typically require years of research and testing before reaching the clinic, but scientists are racing to produce a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine by next year. Researchers are testing 58 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and at least 87 preclinical vaccines are under active investigation in animals.

The Vaccine Testing Process

Work began in January with the deciphering of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. The first vaccine safety trials in humans started in March, and now 13 have reached the final stages of testing. Some of these trials will fail, and others may end without a clear result. But a few vaccines may succeed in stimulating the immune system to produce effective antibodies against the virus.

Here is the status of all the vaccines that have reached trials in humans, along with a selection of promising vaccines still being tested in animals.

While these vaccines may potentially prevent infection, they cannot cure the disease. For an overview of treatments for Covid-19, see our Coronavirus Drug and Treatment Tracker.

The Vaccine Testing Process

The development cycle of a vaccine, from lab to clinic.

PRECLINICAL TESTING: Scientists test a new vaccine on cells and then give it to animals such as mice or monkeys to see if it produces an immune response. We have confirmed 87 preclinical vaccines in active development.

PHASE 1 SAFETY TRIALS: Scientists give the vaccine to a small number of people to test safety and dosage as well as to confirm that it stimulates the immune system.

PHASE 2 EXPANDED TRIALS: Scientists give the vaccine to hundreds of people split into groups, such as children and the elderly, to see if the vaccine acts differently in them. These trials further test the vaccine’s safety and ability to stimulate the immune system.

PHASE 3 EFFICACY TRIALS: Scientists give the vaccine to thousands of people and wait to see how many become infected, compared with volunteers who received a placebo. These trials can determine if the vaccine protects against the coronavirus. In June, the F.D.A. advised vaccine makers that they would want to see evidence that vaccines can protect at least 50 percent of those who receive it. In addition, Phase 3 trials are large enough to reveal evidence of relatively rare side effects that might be missed in earlier studies.

EARLY OR LIMITED APPROVAL: China and Russia have approved vaccines without waiting for the results of Phase 3 trials. Experts say the rushed process has serious risks.

APPROVAL: Regulators in each country review the trial results and decide whether to approve the vaccine or not. During a pandemic, a vaccine may receive emergency use authorization before getting formal approval. Once a vaccine is licensed, researchers continue to monitor people who receive it to make sure it’s safe and effective.

COMBINED PHASES: One way to accelerate vaccine development is to combine phases. Some coronavirus vaccines are now in Phase 1/2 trials, for example, in which they are tested for the first time on hundreds of people. (Note that our tracker counts a combined Phase 1/2 trial as both Phase 1 and Phase 2.)

PAUSED: If investigators observe worrying symptoms in volunteers, they can put a trial on pause. After an investigation, the trial may resume or be abandoned.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.amp.html

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