Story at a glance

  • The COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford is currently in phase three trials.
  • Results from the late-stage trials that include tens of thousands of participants are expected to be released in the coming weeks.
  • Once the data is reported, regulators can approve it for widespread use if it’s shown to be safe and effective.

British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca could deliver a coronavirus vaccine as early as December, according to Bloomberg.

The COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford is currently in phase three trials in the U.S., Britain and other countries to test whether it is effective against the coronavirus that has infected more than 48 million people and killed more than 1.2 million worldwide. 


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Results from the late-stage trials that include tens of thousands of participants are expected to be released in the coming weeks. Once the data is reported, regulators can approve it for widespread use if it’s shown to be safe and effective. 

“At the end of the day, we don’t yet know if the vaccine works,” AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot told Bloomberg. 

“We would hope that large-scale vaccinations would be possible starting in January next year -- possibly even December,” he told the outlet. 

Soriot said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may want to wait for the results from the U.S. trial, which was paused in September as other trials around the world continued, before reviewing the vaccine and giving it approval. AstraZeneca said it can provide hundreds of millions of doses on a “rolling basis” once the shot is approved. 

AstraZeneca said last month its coronavirus vaccine was shown to produce an immune response in older adults and the elderly. 

Public health officials have said a read out on data from late-stage trials is likely to occur before the year is out but say it’s likely a coronavirus vaccine won’t be made widely available to the public until several months into 2021. 


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Published on Nov 05, 2020