COVID-19 Vaccine Research & Development

A new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), emerged in December 2019. Currently, 19 network members engaged in research and development of COVID-19 vaccines, using six principal technology platforms. Almost a third of network members having vaccines prequalified by the World Health Organization comply with international regulations and mechanisms to distribute vaccines across borders. The use of existing manufacturing, fill-finish and distribution capabilities can support an efficient roll-out of vaccines against COVID-19, while maintaining supply security of existing vaccines for on-going immunization programmes. However, the global harm wrought by COVID-19 in terms of effect on lives and livelihoods massively overshadows that of Zika. The risks, then, of a SARS-CoV-2 challenge study would be more easily outweighed by the social value of a challenge study that can substantially improve understanding of COVID-19 and accelerate vaccine development.

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