Over 1mn doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine possible by Sept

Early estimates of the production a million doses of the experimental COVID-19 vaccine by September could be an underestimate depending on how quickly late-stage trials can be completed.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

LONDON - Early estimates of the production a million doses of the University of Oxford’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine by September could be an underestimate depending on how quickly late-stage trials can be completed, a researcher said on Monday.

“There might be a million doses manufactured by September: that now seems like a remarkable underestimate, given the scale of what’s going on,” Adrian Hill of University of Oxford said, referring to the manufacturing capability of partner AstraZeneca.

“Certainly there’ll be a million doses around in September. What’s less predictable than the manufacturing scale-up is the incidence of disease, so when there’ll be an endpoint.”

He added it was possible that there would be vaccines available by the end of the year.

AstraZeneca’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine was safe and produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials in healthy volunteers, data showed on Monday.

The vaccine, called AZD1222 and being developed by AstraZeneca and scientists at Britain’s University of Oxford, did not prompt any serious side effects and elicited antibody and T-cell immune responses, according to trial results published in The Lancet medical journal.

“We hope this means the immune system will remember the virus, so that our vaccine will protect people for an extended period,” study lead author Andrew Pollard of the University of Oxford said.

“However, we need more research before we can confirm the vaccine effectively protects against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection, and for how long any protection lasts,” he said.

AstraZeneca’s is among the leading vaccine candidates against a pandemic that has claimed more than 600,000 lives, alongside others in mid and late-stage trials.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.