Countries race to make COVID-19 vaccine

As the world battles COVID-19, scientists are racing to develop a vaccine. 

According to the World Health Organization, 70 COVID-19 vaccines are in development around the world. 

Three of those potential vaccines are being tested on humans.

In China, CanSino Biological Inc and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology are conducting a Phase II vaccine trial. 

Phase I focused on safety, while Phase II focuses on efficacy. The second phase has more participants and will use a placebo group. Trials are taking place in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began.

In the U.S., the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the biotech company Moderna have created a potential vaccine that is being tested in humans. With that vaccine, Jennifer Halle became the first person in the world to be given a potential COVID-19 vaccine. 

U.S. company Inovio Pharmaceuticals is also conducting human trials and is working with Chinese researchers to begin a study with the drug in China. 

Scientists hope to have a safe and effective vaccine within the next year to year-and-a-half. 

The licensing process can takes about 10 to 15 years, or longer. 

Based on the COVID-19 genome sequence provided by China, scientists know the virus shares 79% of the same genetic material as SARS and 50% of the same material as MERS.

Scientists say they can use research from SARS and MERS to help create a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Vaccine testing usually begins in animals. At least one company has skipped testing in animals, while others conducted human and animal testing simultaneously. 

Check out The China Report, our new weekly newsletter. Subscribe here!