Several COVID-19 vaccines could be ready by early 2021; Experts

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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COVID-19 Vaccine
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As major drugmakers close in on the last mile with their respective final-stage trials for the proprietary coronavirus vaccine candidates, experts across the globe are optimistic about having multiple viable vaccines in circulation by early 2021.

John Bell, a professor of medicine at Oxford University and a member of Britain’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), shared his optimism of having several approved COVID-19 vaccines by the initial few months of 2021.

Prof. Bell’s observations come days after American-German drugmaker duo Pfizer-BioNTech shared an early data set from their ongoing trials involving more than 40,000 people which suggested that their vaccine is effective against coronavirus 90 percent of instances. The duo will now approach the US authorities for emergency use permissions for the vaccine.

The leading medical expert remarked that the positive news shared by Pfizer-BioNTech indicates that other leading potential vaccines in late-stage trials could prove similarly effective.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we hit the new year with two or three vaccines all of which could be distributed,” Prof Bell briefed the British Parliament while adding that he was “quite optimistic of getting enough vaccinations done in the first quarter of next year that by spring things will start to look much more normal than they do now.”

The SAGE member believed that there was a 70-80 percent chance of the anticipated situation to happen.

Pfizer-BioNTech is one of 10 firms that are conducting late-stage trials currently taking place around the world with some initial data revealing positive outlooks about the vaccine in development.

The British government has already reserved 40 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech which Prof Bell expects could receive regulatory approval within three weeks.

“We’re talking about mid-December I think we should be ready to administer this vaccine,” the medical expert added.