UK to mass produce Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 10, 2020

Countries across the world are racing to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus as experts have suggested that it would continue to spread if a vaccine cannot be found.

In the latest development, British pharma giant AstraZeneca, which is developing a vaccine in partnership with Oxford University, declared that the development is on track and it would be able to roll out two billion doses of the vaccine in September, Indian Express reported.

The British pharma has also launched mass production of its experimental AZD1222 vaccine.

AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot told BBC radio as cited in the Indian Express report: “So far we’re still on track…We are starting to manufacture this vaccine right now, and we have to have it ready to be used by the time we have the results.”

“Our present assumption is that we will have the data by the end of the summer, by August, so in September we should know whether we have an effective vaccine or not,” he further added.

Last week, AstraZeneca announced that it had signed agreements with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, and the Serum Institute of India to accelerate the production capacity two-fold which will help procure two billion doses.

The collaboration with the Indian institute — one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers — will help supply it to a large number of low- and middle-income countries, AFP reported.

The initial trials of the vaccine began in April at Oxford University where hundreds of volunteers participated. The collaboration is now expanding the size to 10,000 volunteers.

Researchers said last week that the tests would start in Brazil by mid-June, the first country outside Britain to take part in the study.

The Cambridge-based firm has signed deals to produce 400 million doses for the US, and 100 million for the UK if it is successful in human trials, as per the Indian Express report.

This came in the backdrop of United States President Donald Trump declaring that America has already started the mass production of the vaccine.


Published on June 08, 2020

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