Covid-19 vaccines could be ready by October – Pharmacy chief

A top pharmaceutical company executive has said that one or several COVID-19 vaccines may be ready before 2021, but warned of a possible challenge in supply as it was estimated that 15 billion doses would be needed to halt the pandemic.

Since being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, over 100 labs around the world have been working round the clock to come up with a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, including 10 that have made it to the clinical trial stage.

Albert Bourla, head of Pfizer, said that his company believed a vaccine could be ready before the end of the year. Pfizer is conducting clinical trials with German firm Biontech on several possible vaccines in Europe and the United States.

According to him, “If things go well, and the stars are aligned, we will have enough evidence of safety and efficacy so that we can… have a vaccine around the end of October.”

“The hope of many people is that we will have a vaccine, hopefully several, by the end of this year,” Pascal Soriot, head of AstraZeneca, told a virtual briefing.

His company is partnering with the University of Oxford to develop and distribute a vaccine being trialed in Britain.

It can take years for a new vaccine to be licensed for general use, but in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, experimental vaccines shown to be safe and effective against the novel coronavirus could likely win approval for emergency use.

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