Hundreds of clinical trials, mostly to test drug candidates but also several vaccine candidates, have been registered since early 2020. The United States accounts for the largest number of clinical trials, particularly for drugs, and China comes second on vaccine trials.
Newly funded research initiatives worth billions of dollars have been set up in record time, and research and innovation have led to the rapid development of vaccines. By the end of May 2020, there were 131 vaccine candidates with 10 in clinical evaluation. By early September 2020, the numbers had increased to 180 vaccine candidates, 35 of which were in clinical evaluation.
Behind these numbers lies unparalleled public, private and international scientific co-operation to find solutions to the pandemic, building on years of basic research investment, the explosion of scientific articles on COVID-19, but also newly institutionalised open data-sharing and agile technology platforms providing access to epidemiological, clinical and genomics data, as well as related studies.
See more in the OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2021.
See also: The race to vaccinate