AstraZeneca could supply potential coronavirus vaccine from September

Epoch Times

Epoch Times

The company said on Thursday that it had received more than $1bn (£820) from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (Barda) for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine, starting in autumn.

Researchers at the University of Oxford are testing the vaccine candidate in humans. More than 40 percent of the people who weren't interested in getting the vaccine believed it was riskier than the virus itself and half of those people said they were anxious about the speed it was being developed. They've said the vaccine, which protects against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, could be available by the fall.

But the company said it was committed to advancing the clinical programme.

President Trump has sought to expedite the development of a coronavirus vaccine through Operation Warp Speed, as many public health officials have said that a return to normalcy in the USA would rest on the widespread availability of a vaccine to protect against the virus. The first doses could be delivered as early as October.

Interestingly, some 36% of the respondents said that they would be less willing to take a vaccine if United States president Trump declared that it was safe as opposed to 14% who would be more interested to take a vaccine if that were the case.

AstraZeneca said it was capable of producing one billion doses of the AZD1222 vaccine this year and next.

"This pandemic is a global tragedy and it is a challenge for all of humanity", said chief executive officer Pascal Soriot.

Epoch Times

The company logo for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on a screen at the New York Stock Exchange in New York City on April 8, 2019.

Shares in AstraZeneca have ballooned 42% in the past two months as the drugmaker joined the list of companies engaged in the development of a coronavirus vaccine.

The drugmaker said it has signed first agreements for at least 400 million doses and has secured total manufacturing capacity for one billion doses of the potential vaccine, which it is developing with Oxford University.

The firm noted that it recently joined forces with the United Kingdom government to support Oxford University's vaccine, and had progressed "rapidly" in its efforts to expand access around the world, adding that it would supply the United Kingdom from September.

Both the company and the university are operating on a nonprofit basis for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, with only the costs of production and distribution being covered.

AstraZeneca said it had also agreed to support the establishment of a joint research centre at Oxford University for pandemic preparedness research.

Given how this disease has gripped the world and has caused such a drastic change in lifestyle, it is interesting to see quite a significant amount of pushback on this matter. "We believe that together we will be in a strong position to start immunizing against coronavirus once we have an effective approved vaccine", John Bell, a professor of medicine at Oxford, said in a statement.

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