The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc have begun recruiting over 10,000 subjects for advanced human trials of experimental COVID-19 vaccine. If everything goes as planned, the drug maker will make first deliveries starting September 1.
A smaller part of the COVID-19 vaccine trial will expand the age range of testing to children from 5 to 12 years old and adults 56 and older. The larger stage will test the coronavirus vaccine’s effectiveness in volunteers 18 and older.
Pharmaceutical companies across the globe are in a race against time to develop an effective COVID-19 vaccine. A lot of these manufacturers are doing it for no profit.
COVID-19 Vaccine Production
AstraZeneca recently got a boost in its efforts to get the vaccine tested and ready for use when the United States pledged $1.2 billion on Thursday.
Adult subjects for the trial will be randomly chosen to receive one or two doses of the Oxford candidate or a licensed vaccine against meningococcus for comparison.
Volunteers will be recruited across the United Kingdom and will record their reactions in a journal as well as attend follow-up visits. Some of the volunteers will also be given swabs for taking samples at home.
This COVID-19 vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus that’s genetically modified to make it unable to grow in the human body. Over 1,000 volunteers have already received the coronavirus vaccine during an early-stage trial that began in April.
AstraZeneca Plc. plans to make over 30 million doses available in the United Kingdom as early as September. Meanwhile, the United States could begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as early as October.
A challenge for all of humanity
AstraZeneca will be producing coronavirus vaccine in more than one country. The pharmaceutical company thanked the US and UK governments for significant support to accelerate the development and production of the COVID vaccine.
The drugmaker is also in discussions with the Serum Institute of India and other potential partners to increase COVID-19 vaccine production.
AstraZeneca said it is capable of producing one billion doses of the COVID vaccine this year and next. The company will make “every effort we can deliver these doses at no profit while at the same time working on parallel supply chains to supply the world.”
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot described the global coronavirus pandemic as a “global tragedy” and a “challenge for all of humanity.”
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