A Leiden-based pharmaceutical company, Janssen Vaccines, has begun trialling a coronavirus vaccine on humans. Janssen Vaccines is owned by Johnson & Johnson.

Originally, the clinical test phase of this vaccine were only set to begin in September, but because of “encouraging preclinical data and collaboration with authorities” they have been able to start sooner with testing the vaccine on humans, NOS reports.  At the moment, the potential vaccine is being trialled on 1045 healthy adults in the US and Belgium, aged 18 to 65.

This part of the testing process does not actually evaluate if the vaccine protects against coronavirus, but rather checks what the side effects of getting the vaccine are. In September, the potential vaccine will  be tested to see if it stops people from getting coronavirus, or at least protects against serious cases of the virus.

According to the head of Janssen’s vaccine programme, Johan Van Hoof, the next phase of vaccine testing will require a lot more people to be recruited. If the results of the next phase of testing are encouraging, then we could expect to see a vaccine available to the general public in early 2021: but of course, that’s a best-case scenario.

There are currently 163 potential coronavirus vaccines underway around the world, of which 23 are being tested on humans. A Chinese vaccine and one from the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, are the most advanced in the testing process. They produced encouraging results when tested on humans.

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Feature Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/Supplied. 

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