Prof. Adrian Hill, Founder-Director of the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute is upbeat about the possibility of gathering emergency approvals for their COVID-19 vaccine candidate before Christmas.
Prof. Hill expressed that the coronavirus vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford, in collaboration with UK-based drugmaker AstraZeneca, is likely to be developed and administered to healthcare workers and high-risk individuals before the end of 2020.
The professor observed that even though the timing was tight to begin vaccinations against COVID-19 before Christmas, it was possible.
“We’re looking for this year is an ’emergency use’ authorization that will allow us to go and vaccinate those most at risk as a priority, then early next year everybody else,” remarked Prof. Hill.
An emergency approval will allow individuals who have the highest risk against the pandemic to receive the vaccine even as the final trials of the vaccine are still underway.
If an emergency approval is gathered by the team by Christmas, there could be a remote possibility of having vaccination drives to the general public by early 2021.
The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine candidate is seen as a frontrunner in the race to produce a vaccine to protect against COVID-19.
After its successful Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials which established that it is safe and triggers a strong immune response, the vaccine is currently in an advanced stage of its Phase 3 trials.
Findings from a recent study revealed the vaccine produced a robust immune response in elderly people.
Prof. Hill remarked that an AstraZeneca-led consortium has already produced ‘billions of doses’ of the vaccine at ten factories across the world.