Al Jazeera (Qatar): the world’s race to create a vaccine against the coronavirus

In the world there is an intense race to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Recently it became known that the Chinese company tested the vaccine on their employees without official permission on the conduct of clinical trials. However, it is noted that American, European, and Russian scientists continue to work on a vaccine.

The Chinese company Sinopharm (the”Sinopharm”) announced that 30 volunteers “rolled up their sleeves and tested the vaccine,” before permission to conduct clinical trials. It is reported by the Turkish Anadolu news Agency.

According to the news Agency, the company has put photos of scientists, businessmen and representatives of the Communist party of China, which was supposed to emphasize the “spirit of sacrifice”. According to the Chinese company, the first tests of the vaccine, conducted in late March, was aimed at the fact that she was released as soon as possible.

The company Sinopharm (the”Sinopharm”) has not commented on the publication, however, noted that it is working on two vaccines against the coronavirus. According to company representatives, the Chinese government approved the first phase of clinical trials back in April, that is, it is allowed to test the vaccine on humans.

It should be noted that the holding company Sinopharm (the”Sinopharm”) clinical trials without obtaining approval to test the vaccine on humans is a manifestation of the utter disregard of international law and morality.

Several developments

French newspaper Les Echos reported that on 27 July an American company Moderna (“Modern”) will proceed to phase three clinical trial of a vaccine against the coronavirus that causes covid-19. In addition, she noted that Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Novavax to step on her heels.

American company Moderna (“Modern”) stated that in the final phase of clinical trials will involve 30 thousand people, half of whom will receive the vaccine and the other a placebo. Volunteers will receive two doses of a potential vaccine and will then be monitored for the next two years, so final results can not be expected before October 2022.

However, this does not mean that the vaccine will not be available before. According to the newspaper Les Echos, the vaccine may appear in late 2020 or early 2021, if she gets approval for emergency use. According to analysts, in 2021 will be vaccinated 50 million people, the cost of one dose is 50 dollars. According to this scenario, Moderna (“Modern”), which intends to produce one billion doses a year, will earn $ 5 billion in 2021.


After the announcement of the beginning of the third phase of clinical trials in the Medical journal New England (“New England Journal of Medicine”) was published a detailed report on the results of the first phase of clinical trials of the company Moderna (“Modern”), which was attended by 45 volunteers.

According to the magazine, the level of neutralizing antibodies in participants of the experiment were several times higher than that of recovered patients, diagnosed with coronavirus. Also it is said about detecting side effects, about half of the subjects. We are talking about fever, headache and muscle pain.

It should be noted that Pfizer (“Pfizer”) is planning to go to the third phase of clinical trials in July. When creating the vaccine it uses similar technology of mRNA that Moderna (“Modern”).

It is expected that in August the company AstraZeneca (AstraZeneca) and the University of Oxford will move to the third phase of clinical trials. In September, the final stage will start Johnson & Johnson (“Johnson & Johnson”) and the American biotechnological company Novavax (“Novavaks”).

In China, the company CanSinBio (the”Cannobio”) has begun the second phase of clinical trials in June 2020. Local authorities have approved the use of the vaccine in the Chinese army for a period of one year.

Since many vaccines may be approved for emergency use, Pfizer (“Pfizer”) has promised to produce 100 million doses in 2020, the company AstraZinka (“AstraZeneca”) — 300 million, and Novavax (“Novavaks”) — 100 million. American company Moderna (“Modern”), which also promised to produce several million doses, has already signed several contracts.


The head of the Russian direct investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev said in an interview with Reuters that this year Russia plans to produce 30 million doses of an experimental vaccine against coronavirus infection COVID-19 for the domestic market, as well as 170 million for realization abroad.

This week ended the first phase of clinical trials — 30-day test conducted on 38 volunteers. The researchers came to the conclusion that the vaccine is safe and triggers an immune response, although the strength of this response is unclear.

Dmitriev noted that the third phase of clinical trials will begin in August. They will be attended by several thousand volunteers.

Based on current results, Dmitriev believes that the vaccine gets the green light in Russia in August, and in some other countries in September, “making it possibly the first vaccine that is approved in the world.”

He also told Reuters: “There is a General consensus that the so-called herd immunity in Russia, the need to vaccinate 40 to 50 million people. We will produce 30 million doses to the domestic market, if necessary 50 million, that is, respectively, fully vaccination in Russia could be completed early next year.”

According to Dmitriev, Russia has also concluded agreements with five other countries and can produce up to 170 million doses for the implementation of abroad this year.

For its part, the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis (“Novartis”), through its division of Sandoz (Sandoz) has said it will provide without any price premiums 15 drugs used in the treatment of core symptoms of coronavirus infection in developing countries.

And the Chinese company Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical, a local partner of the German company BioNTech (“Biotek”), announced that China agreed to conduct clinical trials of the drug against covid-19, which was developed by BioNTech (“Biotek”).