In creating medical drugs, a meticulous observation is done to study its safety and effectivity to a certain group of test subjects. This process is commonly known as clinical trial/research which takes place after the candidate vaccine showed a progressive response to the immune system of non-human subjects.
As for the COVID-19 pandemic, different pharmaceutical companies are developing a candidate vaccine hoping that it would pass the 3 phases and finally be made available for the public to combat COVID-19 and end it for good.
What does each phase mean?
Based on the Johnson and Johnson’s Youtube Live Series, The Road to a Vaccine, each phase is explained as…
The stage where the study needs to identify if the vaccine is safe to a few closely monitored human test subjects (a.k.a human clinical trial) and how does the human body’s immune system reacts to it.
The stage where more test subjects come in to broaden the scope of the trial and further assess if the vaccine protects against induced infection/disease, at what dose, and if there are side effects.
Moving to thousands of subjects to get more evidence that the vaccine either protects against disease and or infection. This stage also determines the rest of the effects or human body reactions as well as the studies that need to be taken in parallel with those effects.
Is when the vaccine is produced and is made available to the general public. In case new side effects are identified, it is collected again and be further studied.
Some of the countries that are recently implementing phases one and two of another vaccine being studied are Belgium, Spain, Netherland, Germany, and Japan while UAE is on its way to the third phase of the Sinopharm’s vaccine trial which was developed in China.
Based on the article by Gulf News, UAE was chosen by Sinopharm China National Biotec Group (Sinopharm) in partnership with G42 Healthcare in Abu Dhabi to begin the world’s first phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial because 200 nationalities reside in the UAE which makes a wide range of test subjects with different ethnicity and in result will help the study to be more applicable for global implementation.
The phase 3 trial in the UAE is expected to last up to six months with a total of 15,000 human test subjects aged 18-60 years old where the first 5,000 will be conducted in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi.