Thursday 21 May 2020 12:03 pm

Astrazeneca set to supply potential coronavirus vaccine in September

Pharmaceuticals giant Astrazeneca has confirmed it is prepared to deliver the first 400m doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine from September.

In total, the drugmaker, which is the delivery partner for the University of Oxford, has secured the capacity to manufacture 1bn doses of the treatment over the next two years.

Read more: Oxford University coronavirus vaccine trial strikes AstraZeneca distribution deal

Of the doses, 100m will be supplied to the UK, while the US government has ordered 300m doses.

Although Astrazeneca has admitted that the vaccine might not be effective, it said that it is committed to the clinical testing phase of development.

Scientists and politicians around the world, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have warned that it is a possibility that a vaccine may never be found for the disease, or that it may only confer partial immunity.

Globally, there are around 80 groups working on developing a vaccine currently.

Astrazeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot said: “This pandemic is a global tragedy and it is a challenge for all of humanity. 

“We need to defeat the virus together or it will continue to inflict huge personal suffering and leave long-lasting economic and social scars in every country around the world. 

“We are so proud to be collaborating with Oxford University to turn their ground-breaking work into a medicine that can be produced on a global scale”.

He also thanked the UK and US governments for their support in developing the treatment, with the US today giving the firm $1bn to help deliver the vaccine.

Read more: Astrazeneca partners with Oxford University to manufacture coronavirus vaccine

The money will cover a 30,000 participant clinical trial as well as a paediatric trial.

Astrazeneca said it was in communication with other global governments and organisations over worldwide access to the treatment.