Shionogi readies COVID-19 vaccine for December trial

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By Rocky Swift

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Many people will not see this late candidate as necessary, but at this point what we need is redundancy, it is of course possible we could get lucky and the only vaccine against COVID-19 we are going to need comes out first, making the rest irrelevant. But that is not a sure bet, its more likely that the first candidates would not be as effective as necessary or that safety problems would make them not recommended for some groups of people, until we have the full results of the Phase III trials we have no way of knowing.

Shionogi is betting for the tried and true method of producing a protein and purify it to make it into a vaccine, compared with other methods it is easier to prove safe, it is reliable and cheap, so it is much less likely to have any trouble during the safety trials and once approved it can be produced in massive scale faster. It also have the advantage of not needing any special care for distribution like the more advanced mRNA vaccines that require ultra-cold refrigeration.

The only problem is that this candidate comes quite late using a simple approach that other companies have already tried, if this version don't have a clear advantage over the ones that are almost finished being developed, it may just become unneeded and the investment in developing and testing it would end up wasted.

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