Farmscape for July 9, 2020
The Director and CEO of VIDO-InterVac expects to be ready by fall to begin testing in humans a newly developed vaccine to protect against COVID-19.
In coordination with Health Canada the safety of a new COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, is being tested in animal trials.
VIDO-InterVac Director and CEO Dr. Volker Gerdts says the vaccine has been shown to work really well in ferrets, experiments are underway to demonstrate there are no unwanted reactions and after that it can be tested in humans, which will hopefully begin in the fall.
Clip-Dr. Volker Gerdts-VIDO-InterVac:
Safety testing of a vaccine is defined by the health regulators, so in this case it's Health Canada.
There is a set of things you're looking for, including the adverse reactions to the actual vaccine.
By injecting it, we will be monitoring overall clinical symptoms in these animals, whether there's any spikes of fever or any of that.
Then we will also take a very careful look at the actual injection site and see if there are any unwanted reactions that that might be an indication of an unwanted event to it.
The other important concern for this COVID-19 in particular that has been raised early on is that vaccine may induce an unwanted response and it might even enhance the disease.
That's called ADE, antibody-dependent enhancement, so the regulator wants you to clearly demonstrate in the animal tests and then also later on in the human testing that there is no enhancement of the disease or no unwanted immune pathology.
These are defined criteria around the world that all vaccines have to demonstrate.
Dr. Gerdts says, as the pandemic continues to spread and people die around the world, the biggest challenge is time.
He says every effort is being made to fast track vaccine development at every level possible.
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