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COVID-19 vaccine from Oxford University to be ready by October –

COVID-19 vaccine from Oxford University to be ready by October



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Englands Oxford University is edging ahead in the race to produce a successful COVID-19 vaccine, with the World Health Organisations (WHO) chief scientist declaring their vaccine the leading candidate. Already in three late-stage trials, we could know by the end of August whether or not Oxford’s vaccine is effective in protecting people from coronavirus – which has infected more than 12 million people around the world and killed at least 553,438.
According to The Economist, just one successful trial would allow a regulator to approve the vaccine for emergency use – meaning it could be available to those considered “high risk” in October.
British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which is currently building an international supply chain to ensure the vaccine is available “widely and rapidly”, thinks full approval, which would require results from multiple trials, could come early next year.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called the race to develop a vaccine “the most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes”.
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Based on drugs that have proven successful against similar viruses, the Oxford vaccine team – led by Professor Sarah Gilbert – has moved quickly into the large-scale human trial phase.
Chair of the UK vaccine taskforce, Kate Bingham, said they were a long way ahead of the field.
“The Oxford study will have likely vaccinated all their efficacy subjects before any of the other vaccines actually start their big efficacy trials,” she told British MPs.
“So that just gives you a scale of how ahead they are versus the other companies.”
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Two billion doses of the vaccine have already been ordered, AstraZeneca said, each costing roughly the same price as a cup of coffee.
Pascal Soriot, who works for AstraZeneca, said they think their vaccine is likely to protect against COVID-19 for about a year.
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“If all goes well, we will have the results of the clinical trials in August/September. We are manufacturing a parallel. We will be ready to deliver from October if all goes well,” he said.
Human trials of the vaccine began in the UK in April, extending the trial to participants in South Africa in June.
“This is a landmark moment for South Africa and Africa at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic,” director of the South Africa Medical Research Council’s Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit, Shabir Madhi, told reporters at the trials launch. “As we enter winter in South Africa and pressure increases on public hospitals, now more than ever we need a vaccine to prevent infection by COVID-19.”

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