An international team of researchers has developed a vaccine that will eradicate the Bts21 virus, which has caused a global pandemic.
In a statement on Wednesday, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the successful development of the vaccine for Bt-21, a strain of the virus that was recently isolated from a Chinese farm and was suspected of being linked to a severe coronavirus outbreak in China.
The new vaccine, which is being tested in a pilot project, will be tested in the US by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the National Institutes for Health (NIG), the Vaccine Development Center (VDC) and the Center for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies (CBIEET), according to a press release.
“The new Bt vaccine is designed to be effective against the BTS strain,” the statement read.
“Bt-20 is not the first virus to infect humans, but the emergence of Bts-20 and other Bts strains in the past year has led to fears of the spread of a new strain.”
The team is working on a vaccine for the Btw21 strain, which was identified in the UK in March, and has developed two other Btw22 vaccines in the last year, the release added.
The vaccine is part of a $300m (S$425m) US programme that is aimed at halting the spread and killing off the Btrs21 strain.
In May, the first human trials of the new vaccine were held in India.
A total of 1,600 people were tested, with all tested positive for the virus.
In the first round of trials, which were carried out at the Centre for Biotechnology Research in Hyderabad, more than 500 people were enrolled in the trial and more than 40% of them were cleared of BTS, according to Dr. V.V. Srinivasan, the head of the Centre.
He said there was no need to rush the vaccine into clinical trials as the vaccine would be effective in two months.
In India, the government is expected to deploy 10,000 more health workers and doctors to help treat the people who have tested positive.
Dr. Sreenivasan said the vaccines would be administered to about 50,000 people, of whom more than 80% of those tested would be vaccinated.
“This is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough,” he said.