Potential COVID-19 Vaccines in Canada

Updated: Oct 18

As the second wave arises, health officials in Ontario have predicted there may be up to 1000 cases of COVID-19 by mid-October. With the seasons changing and flu season soon here, many individuals are placed in uncertainty of how they will combat this pandemic. In Canada, there are at least 4 clinical trials taking place to find a vaccine to aid to stop the spread of COVID-19. Clinical trials are conducted for at least a year to ensure its safety and efficacy for the public. There are at least 2 clinical trials being conducted in Ontario that are in phase 3 which means that they are at the stage to recruit participants to test the vaccine.

Bacille Calmette-Guerin Vaccine

One of the clinical trials taking place is utilizing a modified vaccine for tuberculosis to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in front-line workers which is expected to be completed by July 1st, 2021. The vaccine is called Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) which is used to prevent tuberculosis in individuals. Many investigators are determining the effectiveness of the BCG vaccine as they believe that this vaccine may have some preventive measures for COVID-19 as it can train the body to fight foreign invaders. Despite the possibility the vaccine could have temporary protection against the virus, it is important to keep in mind there are some side effects as one could get a fever, headache or swollen glands. If you are interested, this trial is taking place at Princess Margaret Hospital which is currently recruiting anyone over the age of 18 years and is a frontline worker. Some examples of the frontline workers include municipal or provincial police service, emergency medical services, fire services, public transport service, health service, food manufacturing facility etc.

To learn more or to take part in this clinical trial, click on the links added below:

https://cobra.uhnresearch.ca/

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT04439045

Or you can email covidbcgstudy@uhn.ca or call the Cobra Hotline at 416-946-4501 EXT. 7510

IMM-101 Vaccine

Another study which is in the third phase is applying an immune stimulating therapy used for cancer patients to prevent severe respiratory infections and reduce the rate of any flu-like infections. The trial uses IMM-101 which is a heat-killed bacteria to support cancer patients to boost their immune system to fight against viruses and bacteria that enter the body from the cancer and the treatment they are receiving. Similar to the BCG vaccine, the IMM-101 allows the body to be trained against anti-viral infections that can occur. However, it is important to know the side effects as it is similar to chemotherapy such as fatigue, nausea and/or vomiting. If you are interested, please speak to your physician/medical team to ensure you are eligible to study. This clinical trial is occurring at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre at the Odette Cancer Centre which is recruiting anyone over the age of 18 who is planning to or currently undergoing treatment for a malignant cancer, lymphoma or myeloma who requires to go to the hospital at least twice a month for treatments or assessments. This trial is estimated to be completed by March 31st, 2021.

If you are interested to learn more or would like to participate in this clinical trial, click on the link below to see if you are eligible:

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04442048?term=Canadian+Cancer+Trials+Group&cond=COVID-19&draw=2&rank=1#contacts

https://biocanrx.com/clinical-trial-auer

Written by: Shenen Sivakumar



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