Third virus vaccine reaches major hurdle: final US testing

Third virus vaccine reaches major hurdle: final US testing
Posted at 10:15 AM, Sep 01, 2020

A third leading candidate COVID-19 vaccine has entered a final stage of human testing in the United States.

AstraZeneca announced Monday its potential COVID-19 vaccine has entered final trials in the U.S. to test the effectiveness and safety of the product.

The Cambridge, England-based company said the trial will involve up to 30,000 adults from various racial, ethnic and geographic groups. The potential vaccine was invented by the University of Oxford and an associated company, Vaccitech.

AstraZeneca said development of the vaccine known as AZD1222 is moving ahead globally with late-stage trials in the U.K., Brazil and South Africa. Further trials are planned in Japan and Russia.

“To have just one vaccine enter the final stage of trials eight months after discovering a virus would be a remarkable achievement; to have three at that point with more on the way is extraordinary,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

Two other vaccine candidates began final testing this summer in tens of thousands of people in the U.S. One was created by the National Institutes of Health and manufactured by Moderna Inc., and the other developed by Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech.