Oxford Anti-COVID Vaccine Ready By Christmas

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(Newswire.net— October 27, 2020) —  Healthcare workers and high-risk patients are likely to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, said Adrian Hill, director of the Oxford Jenner Institute, which is working with pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca Plc to develop the vaccine.

Professor Hill confirmed that the urgent approval of the vaccine will enable the most endangered groups to get it while it is still in the last phase of testing, writes the Daily Mail.

This will be followed by final approval for mass use, which means that the rest of the population could start receiving the vaccine from the beginning of 2021.

Adrian Hill, who leads the scientific team for the development of the vaccine, admitted that there is an ongoing race against time, but he insists that it is quite possible for vaccination to commence before Christmas.

Billions of doses of the vaccine are being produced in ten factories around the world in the plants of the British company AstraZeneca.

“I’d be very surprised if this thing [the pandemic] isn’t very clear on the way down by late spring, at least in this country [UK]… we will get to the stage where there is herd immunity through vaccination,” said Professor Hill optimistically.

The third phase of testing of the vaccine was paused after a “serious adverse event” was reported to some test participants in the UK. A “serious adverse event” means a reaction to the vaccine that has caused hospitalization, life-threatening consequences, or death, British media reported. However, the results on the participants who received the vaccine in relation to the volunteers who received a placebo have yet to be revealed. Until then, none of the participants, not even the members of the scientific team, will know who received the vaccine and who received the placebo.

About 10,000 volunteers from around the world, including Brazil and South Africa, are involved in vaccine trials in the UK conducted by the Jenner Institute. The tests are also conducted by the Institute’s partners in India and the United States.

The research team plans to seek urgent approval for vulnerable patients based on interim results while the final trials are still being conducted. The temporary permit will only be for emergency use, and not for approval for mass use, Hill pointed out.

The vaccine is believed to be a turning point in the fight against the coronavirus, which has so far killed more than 1.15 million people worldwide and devastated the global economy.