One of the world’s most promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates, the AstraZeneca vaccine in association with the Oxford University has said that it would be ready to roll out the shots as early as January if all goes well.
On Thursday, Anglo-Swedish drugmaker’s Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said in a statement that the company will analyze data from its vaccine trials in November and December. If the results look promising, it will move quickly to ramp up manufacturing and obtain government approval in the U.S. and elsewhere. “We will be ready to supply hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine around the world starting January,” Soriot said during an earnings conference call Thursday.
One of the most widely-anticipated vaccines that have made considerable headway despite one or two minor hurdles on the way, the vaccine contender is currently undergoing late-stage trials in the U.S., the U.K., and other countries to determine its safety and effectiveness. Once those results are reported, regulators will have to approve the vaccine for widespread use.
In September, however, the trials for the vaccine were halted by the FDA after one participant experienced adverse reactions, which were later deemed to be caused by a factor that didn’t relate to the administration of the vaccine. AstraZeneca and Oxford restarted trials last month after obtaining due approval. Whilst trials were halted in the US, trials continued to progress towards the last stage in countries like Brazil and South Africa.
Aside from the vaccine, AstraZeneca officials said they’re developing a “long-acting antibodies” treatment that they said would boost immune systems and protect vulnerable populations from future COVID-19 outbreaks. The treatment would protect for six months or a year depending on the dosage, the company reported.
As of now, three other major players are in the race towards coming up with a promising vaccine. Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson are all being funded by President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed in order to come up with a solution that helps the world combat this catastrophic virus.
As it stands, Moderna said its vaccine won’t be ready for widespread use until next spring, while Pfizer said it could apply for emergency use of its vaccine as soon as later this month.