COVID19 update, May 24, 2020: vaccine trails hampered by dwindling infections; phases in clinical trials; miscellaneous updates

The complexities of vaccine trials are nothing compared to the 5 years needed to build factories up make the vaccines.

Spin, strangeness, and charm

(1)The Daily Telegraph reports that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine trial is now running into an unexpected snag.

At present a Phase 2 trial is underway with 10,000 volunteers, half of whom get the vaccine, the other half a placebo. The idea is to compare the infection rates between the two groups in order to find out whether the vaccine does indeed have protective value.

But currently infections in the UK are falling to the point that simply not enough people may get infected to be able to learn anything from the trial.

(As related here previously, an earlier vaccine for the original SARS, developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica, was never taken into production because the epidemic died out before human trials could be completed.)

According to the Telegraph, three Chinese groups are running into a similar problem with their respective vaccine candidates.

A “plan B” that nobody dares to suggest would…

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