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The COVID-19 virus has continued to spread throughout the United States, with an alarming increase in new cases no longer contained to mostly urban hotspots. This underscores the need for all Americans to continue exercising proper precautions, including wearing a mask in public spaces, thorough hand washing, and social distancing whenever and wherever possible.

The development of a successful vaccine is our best hope to end this pandemic. It is likely that more than one vaccine will be needed, because some vaccines may be more effective in older or younger populations and others may have cost or manufacturing limitations. As a result, there are over 150 potential vaccines in development around the world. We will be monitoring the results of the most promising vaccine candidates and profiling them on this blog. Please return back to this page for regular updates as we navigate this pandemic together.

July 20th, 2020. One of the most promising potential vaccines is being developed at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute in England. This vaccine involves modifying a respiratory virus that resembles COVID-19 by first neutralizing its infectious capability and then re-engineering it with genetic parts from the COVID-19 virus. This inactivated virus can then be injected into humans where it won’t cause infection but will stimulate the body’s immune response in a way that may be protective against COVID-19. Early results from a Phase I/II study involving over 1,000 subjects show that the vaccine does prompt a strong immune response for up to two months, and that a booster dose (or second dose) leads to a stronger immune response without significant side effects.

The vaccine is now entering Phase III trials involving 7,000 subjects in Brazil and South Africa, with additional studies enrolling up to 50,000 more people by the end of 2020. The goal of these trials is to determine if the immune response elicited by the vaccine is enough to prevent COVID-19 infection, and to show how lasting that protection is for different age groups and with various comorbidities. If the study proves that the vaccine is both safe and highly effective against COVID-19 in diverse populations, emergency regulatory approval could allow a first wave of doses to be delivered in early 2021, with widespread production of up to 2 billion doses in 2021.

Please click here to see the original article from The Lancet.