Global quest underway to speed COVID-19 vaccine trials

vaccine covid trials global quest
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Global quest underway to speed COVID-19 vaccine trials

CHICAGO- Scientists are working on a benchmark for COVID-19 vaccine efficacy that would allow drugmakers to conduct smaller, speedier human trials to get them to market and address a huge global vaccine shortage. Researchers are trying to determine just what level of COVID-19 antibodies a vaccine must produce to provide protection against the illness. Regulators already use such benchmarks - known as correlates of protection - to evaluate flu vaccines without requiring large, lengthy clinical trials. "You could use it to predict efficacy from a vaccine, which will be more important as we are less able to conduct placebo-controlled trials," said Stanley Plotkin, inventor of the Rubella vaccine and an expert on correlates of protection. "The information is flowing in," he said. "By the end of this year, I think there will be enough data to convince everyone." An established benchmark for COVID-19 would allow drugmakers to conduct vaccine trials in just a few thousand people, about one-tenth the size of the studies conducted to gain authorization for currently widely-used coronavirus shots, researchers and drugmakers told Reuters. Those studies, involving tens of thousands of volunteers, compared the rate of COVID-19 infections in people who received the shot with the rate