AstraZeneca has announced the first coVID-19 vaccine to be delivered to the UK and US starting in September or October, with a target of 2 billion doses.
Astrazeneca chief Executive Pascal Soriot said the United States and Britain accounted for 400 million of the 2 billion doses and low – and middle-income countries for 1 billion, with the rest expected to be distributed by early 2021.
The company said it had signed a deal with the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, under which Astrazeneca is scheduled to deliver 400m doses by the end of 2020.
The vaccine, dubbed AZD1222, was originally developed at Oxford University and produced and distributed in collaboration with Astrazeneca.
The Jenner Institute, in collaboration with the Oxford Vaccine Group, has developed AZD1222, which contains genetic material from a spike protein from the Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
Soriot said distribution of the vaccine depended on final clinical trials in August, which it expected to take place at the same time as production, an unprecedented move for drugmakers because of the risk of producing ineffective drugs.
About 10,000 adult volunteers are currently testing AZD1222, and the results so far are safe and good, according to an Astrazeneca press release.
Soriot added that the company is building a comprehensive safety database and expects more than 50,000 volunteers to participate in the final clinical trial.
I believe we can deliver vaccines to hundreds of millions of people around the world, and most importantly, to people in low-income countries.
Our goal is to make vaccines universal.
Meanwhile, the global Vaccine summit came to a successful conclusion, with governments and companies raising nearly $8.8bn for the Global Alliance for Vaccine Immunization (GAVI), surpassing its original target of $7.4bn.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has also donated $1.6 billion to GAVI.