Find the latest update on clinical trials for vaccines and drugs that might be able to treat COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus. This official site is from NIH (National Institutes of Health) National Library of Medicine. As of October 23, 2020, an amazing number of studies – more than 3,700 – were listed. Of those, 426 studies have been completed (including 52 in the US); another 97 have been terminated, suspended or withdrawn. While more than 800 studies were not yet recruiting participants, more than 2,000 were recruiting or enrolling subjects by invitation. The speed since the pandemic was declared March 11, is quite impressive. Short summaries available for each study may give an idea of how long the study will continue. There are still 35 hydroxychloroquine studies active in the US or recruiting participants. A recent search for COVID vaccine showed over 250 studies, 56 of which were in the United States.
The FDA, the federal Food and Drug Agency, provides updates on COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus. The FDA regulates lab testing, drugs requiring approval, medical devices (like N95s) and vaccine products. They post regular updates, sometimes multiple times per day. In addition, the FDA has listed a few of the likely many fraudulent products with claims to prevent, treat, mitigate, diagnose or cure coronavirus disease.
When will a vaccine be ready to fight the coronavirus pandemic? The answer is “no one knows”. However, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Redfield, hopes that a large number of COVID-19 vaccine doses would be available by late March or early April. But first, one or more vaccines needs to be proven effective. Once the FDA approves an effective vaccine, then enough doses need to be distributed. If there are multiple approved vaccines, doctors will need to learn which vaccines are best for certain groups. Further, enough people need to be immunized to have a substantial impact on the spread of the virus. How long will an effective vaccine last in giving protection to an immunized person? This too, is unknown. Two doses are likely, and immunity may wear off. Read this piece by Reuters who covered Dr. Redfield’s and Dr. Hahn’s (FDA) Senate testimony in mid-September.