The United States is providing pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca with up to $ 1.2 billion to develop a vaccine against the novel corona virus. That was announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and the British-Swedish company.
The financial injection is intended to accelerate the development of the vaccine and ensure the delivery of millions of vaccine doses to the United States. However, the vaccine is still only in the test phase. He is one of many candidates who are under development worldwide.
AstraZeneca claims to have production capacities for one billion cans and is looking for customers to do so. According to the announcement, the company has made firm commitments to purchase at least 400 million cans. The vaccine is based on work by researchers from the renowned Oxford University.
The first deliveries are planned for autumn
In the UK, initial studies on safety and effectiveness had started last month. It is planned to deliver to the United Kingdom from September. In the USA, the start is scheduled for late autumn. The program, co-financed by the US agency Barda, also provides for an advanced phase III study in around 30,000 patients and a series of tests with children.
However, many scientists do not believe that a vaccine to protect against the coronavirus will be available later this year. At the earliest, a vaccine could reach the market in early 2021 – and that is a very optimistic estimate, said Robin Shattock from Imperial College London in an interview with the BBC.