WHO names number of potential COVID-19 vaccines undergoing clinical trials
World Health Organization (WHO) said there are 17 potential coronavirus vaccines currently undergoing clinical trials on humans. The most advanced of them is being developed by Oxford University in the UK.
Speaking at the coronavirus research conference, the WHO said it is optimistic about the vaccines, even if the current trials do not succeed.
"We have a broad pipeline with four different types of vaccine," said Ana Maria Henao Restrepo, who is responsible for research and development at WHO.
Researchers are considering over 150 active substances in their search for a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
Oxford's AZD1222 is the first vaccine to reach phase 3 of a clinical trial. Phase 3 consists of large-scale testing on many people to determine the drug’s safety and effectiveness.
Five other trials are in phase 2 of testing, which consists of trials on a smaller number of patients with health conditions that would reveal the substance's effect.
Phase 1 consists of trials on healthy people in order to test their tolerance.
Trials are also underway at two companies in Germany, Biotech in Mainz and CureVac in Tübingen, Deutsche Welle reported.
Normally it takes 10 years to 15 years to develop a vaccine. However, the pandemic has pushed researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and regulators to development at an unprecedented speed. It remains unclear whether a vaccine will be widely available by the end of the year.