Kate Bingham, the chair of the United Kingdom government’s vaccine taskforce said in an interview to the media that a Covid-19 vaccine may be available for some people even before Christmas.
She however added that it is more likely that official launch of a vaccine could be in early 2021.
“The first phase III efficacy data from the leading vaccine candidates are due by the end of 2020, subject to accruing sufficient rates of infection within the clinical trial cohorts to show the vaccines’ efficacy. The primary endpoint is to show that the vaccine can protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection and reduce symptom burden,” Bingham wrote in medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday.
Two of the vaccine candidates against Covid-19 are currently undergoing phase III efficacy clinical trials in the UK which are the candidates from the Oxford AstraZeneca adenovirus-vectored vaccine and Novavax’s protein-adjuvant vaccine.
“If the first two vaccines, or either of them, show that they are both safe and effective, I think there is a possibility that vaccine roll out will start this side of Christmas, but otherwise I think it’s more realistic to expect it to be early next year,” Kate Bingham said in an interview to the BBC.
She had mentioned previously that the first generation vaccines against the Covid-19 infection might not work perfectly and it may not be workable for everyone.
“The first generation of vaccines is likely to be imperfect, and we should be prepared that they might not prevent infection but rather reduce symptoms, and, even then, might not work for everyone or for long,” she had said.
The trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate developed jointly with thee Oxford University had shown “encouraging” responses among the elderly, as well as younger participants, British pharma giant AstraZeneca had earlier said.
Out of the more than 240 vaccines against Covid-19 currently under different stages of development, access to six vaccines candidates have been secured by the UK vaccine taskforce. These vaccines are spread across four different formats – adenoviral vectors, mRNA, adjuvanted proteins, and whole inactivated viral vaccines. All of these approaches are promising in different ways.
She mentioned in the journal that access to a safe and effective vaccine was ensured for everyone at risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, anywhere in the world, and the UK is committed to ensuring that.
Optimism over the prospect of providing a coronavirus vaccine in 2020 as expressed by Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla.
“We have reached the last mile here,” Bourla said.
He further mentioned that if clinical testing proceeds as expected and regulators approve a vaccine, the company could be in a position to supply about 40 million doses of the vaccine in the United States in 2020. But key benchmarks in assessing vaccine efficacy had still not been reached by the company, Bourla said. The company is expected to file an application with regulators for emergency use authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine as early as the third week of November which would be in line with the earlier timetable provided by the company, he said.
(Adapted from LiveMint.com)