COVID-19 Vaccines – an optometrist’s guide

28 October 2020
Acuity digital

As the pandemic continues to affect people’s lives across the UK, interest in a viable vaccine is growing. The College's Director of Research, Michael Bowen looks at what guidance optometrists can offer patients on potential COVID-19 vaccines.

With the continued disruption the pandemic is wreaking in people’s lives, speculation and interest in a potential vaccine is growing among the general public. Optometry, along with all other health professions, has a greater interest than most, and patients may look to optometrists in their role as clinicians for information on an upcoming vaccine. What can you tell your patients about potential vaccines? 

There are 166 potential COVID-19 vaccines to date which are in pre-clinical or clinical trials (Lurie et al, 2020), and at least 27 of these are in phase 1 or 2 trials. The Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine is further along in phase 2b/3 (efficacy trial in humans/ evaluation trial in humans respectively). The table below, taken from a World Health Organisation (WHO) report published very recently, shows the leading vaccine trials, and gives brief details of the vaccines and the current status of the trial. 

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