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Vaccines against COVID-19: So, where are we so far?
COVID-19 is a novel, highly pathogenic viral infection caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that originated in Wuhan City, China in late 2019. As of July 16, 2020, there were >13.7 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide with >588,000 deaths, while in Canada there are >108,800 confirmed cases with approximately 8,810 deaths. This rapidly growing global pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 infections has incited a worldwide effort to identify effective preventative strategies and optimal medical treatments. Other than physical distancing, frequent hand washing, proper cough etiquette and wearing mask to slow down the spread of this virus, a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 may be our only hope of stopping this pandemic, but how long will it take (12, 18, 24 months or longer)? In almost light speed, the virus was isolated, sequenced, the sequence released to the global R&D community and the search for vaccines began. In breakneck speed we saw a jump from a few vaccine candidates to now 173 candidates in various points in the R&D pipeline, 33 of these in clinical evaluation (as of July 15, 2020). I will summarize where we are in August 2020 and explain the approaches used and challenges with developing a safe and effective vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

Aug 19, 2020 01:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Erling Rud
Research Advisor, Faculty of Science @Carleton University
Dr Rud has been a research scientist with over 30 years of experience in the academic, biotech/pharmaceutical and Government sectors as a virologist. He has worked in many aspects of virology on emerging infectious diseases (mainly viral) from RNA viruses (California Encephalitis, Human Parainfluenza Virus type 3, Vesicular Stomatitis Virus and Korean Hemorrhagic Fever) to Retroviruses (HIV, HTLV, SFV, SIV). His activities ranged from basic and molecular virology to antiviral and vaccine R&D. He has published over 55 peer reviewed publications and has presented over 165 invited talks about his work at conferences and universities around the World.