EUROPE – The German company CureVac provided disappointing preliminary results from a clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine, dimming hopes that it could help fill the world’s current greatest need.

The trial, which included 40,000 volunteers in Latin America and Europe, estimated that CureVac’s mRNA vaccine had an efficacy of just 47 percent, among the lowest reported so far from any COVID-19 vaccine maker.

Results released were based on data from 135 volunteers who got sick with COVID-19 as an independent panel compared the number of sick people who had received a placebo with those who had received the vaccine hence working out to an efficacy rate of 47 percent.

The news was disappointing to experts who had hoped the company could provide vaccines for low- and middle-income countries that don’t have nearly enough because the US Food & Drug association set a minimum approval threshold at 50% efficacy rate.

CureVac had some advantages over the other mRNA vaccines which included being kept stable for months in a refrigerator and using fewer mRNA molecules per jab compared to its competitors hence lowering its cost.

Data from the John Hopkins University shows that approximately 2.6 billion vaccine doses have been administered and that compared to the global population only amounts to 9.6% being fully vaccinated meaning the fight against the pandemic is far from coming to an end.

Currently, vaccines being administered and recommended by the Centre for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) are limited to mostly three which include Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna and Janssen which most developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America cannot afford.

With the CureVac vaccine not passing the preliminary test, the fight against Covid-19 will face a setback with a prolonged pandemic period to be expected.

Healthcare systems globally are crumbling and lack of multiple affordable vaccine options spells doom for various nations with failing healthcare systems and the global economy could further plunge into a state of recession deeper than the one being experienced currently.