The AstraZeneca and Oxford University collaboration of a Covid-19 vaccine called AZD-1222 is among the most-awaited vaccines to date. As of Monday, the company began the 3rd phase of clinical trials in the US, making it the third pharmaceutical firm to enter such a phase.
AstraZeneca is reportedly looking for around 30,000 adult legal-aged volunteers of diverse origins and heritages, some healthy and some with preexisting health conditions. In the upcoming trials, subjects will be given either the active drug or a placebo - two doses with a one-month interval in between.
Phase 3 for AZD1222 has already begun in the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Japan and Russia will be following soon after. The trial in the United States is supported by the Biomedical Advanced Development Authority and a subsidiary of the National Institute of Health.
Health agencies are heavily investing in research studies because it is one of the few plausible solutions that will be of significant help in preventing further virus transmission. And so far, the candidates have been showing promising results.
AstraZeneca is aiming for a volunteer count of more than 50,000 all over the world for Phase 3, particularly in the hotspots. The vaccine is an almost-inactivated strain of the virus that causes the common cold in chimps and a protein isolated from SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent for Covid-19. In its early trials with only a few volunteers, it showed to have induced a strong immune response via the release of a large number of antibodies. Researchers from Oxford University initiated the study and then partnered up with AstraZeneca for better access to tools and equipment.
There is some skepticism surrounding the faster-than-usual development of the vaccines but the authorities constantly assure the public that the standard processes are being followed and that no safety measures are being neglected throughout the entire process.
The health authorities are focused on the work being done to produce the very first vaccine that will finally shine a light of hope towards dissipating the danger that the pandemic has posed to the lives of people around the world and be on the way to rebuild life to how it was before the catastrophe.