Top medical on the backlash to Astrazeneca’s Covid vaccine
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca intends to produce 2 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine. According to the plan presented, 400 million copies are expected to ship to the US and UK, and one billion to low and middle income countries..
Distribution of the first batches of vaccine in the US and UK should begin in September or October. Full-scale vaccinations expected by early 2021, AstraZeneca CEO said Pascal Sorio.
AstraZeneca said it has signed a licensing agreement with the Serum Institute of India to provide 1 billion doses to low- and middle-income countries, with 400 million of these to be delivered by the end of 2020..
Vaccine named «AZD1222», was originally developed by the University of Oxford in the UK and AstraZeneca joined the project to manufacture and distribute the drug.
Sorio said a lot depends on clinical trials in August. Clinical trials and manufacturing will take place simultaneously, which is unprecedented in the pharmaceutical industry. This is due to the risk of producing a drug that may not work..
«We are very focused and completely dedicated. However, in the current situation it is very difficult to predict the results of the tests and the exact timing of the release of AZD1222.. We don’t have time for analysis and theory. We must act promptly and count on a positive outcome», – he added.
The drug is currently being tested on approximately 10,000 adult volunteers. Trials are encouraging so far, according to a press release from AstraZeneca.
«Based on the results of the passed tests, we have every reason to hope for a favorable outcome.», – said Pascal Sorio, adding that the company is creating a global database of safety information and expects to conduct clinical trials with more than 50 thousand volunteers..
According to Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Epidemic Preparedness Innovation Coalition, which is working with AstraZeneca to manufacture the drug, trials are conducted concurrently with production to make the vaccine available as early as possible. «If the vaccine is successful, the bet on parallel production will fully pay off. In this case, we will receive tens or even hundreds of millions of doses, which will become available as soon as possible.», – he said.
«We believe we can provide vaccines to hundreds of millions of people around the world, including in the lowest income countries. Our goal is to leave no one behind», – added by Pascal Sorio.
On Thursday, governments and private businesses said they would provide $ 8.8 billion to the vaccine alliance known as Gavi, which is backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Foundation and the World Health Organization have created a mechanism known as the Covid-19 Tool Access Accelerator to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine.