The World Health Organization reports that there are 44 vaccine candidates now in human trials, with ten of them in phase three randomized clinical trials. But when will a vaccine be widely available?
“The regulators who will have to approve the vaccines are working very closely with the developers and examining data in real time, in what's known as a rolling review process. This will allow for the reviews of the vaccines to be done very quickly once the trials are completed,” says Vivek Goel, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health and a special adviser to the president and provost who is helping guide the university’s COVID-19 planning efforts.
“Manufacturers have also started production of the vaccines in anticipation of the approvals so that, once that happens, initial doses can be distributed quickly.”
But there’s still a lot of work to be done, Goel cautions.
In episode 30 of his podcast on the pandemic, Goel – a renowned public health expert and founding head of Public Health Ontario, which was set up in response to the 2003 SARS outbreak – explains what regulators and manufacturers will be watching for as vaccines are tested and discusses some of the hurdles facing large-scale immunization programs.
“The most recent results are very helpful, but we will continue to require patience before we get a fully effective vaccine out into everyone's arms.”
The COVID-19: What’s Next podcast is created by Goel in collaboration with a University of Toronto Communications team led by producer Lisa Lightbourn.
Note: The information in this podcast is current as of the posting date. Listeners should consult their local public health agency for the latest information in their jurisdiction.