Big Pharma Races Ahead With COVID-19 Vaccine!

There’s a new leader in the race to produce a COVID-19 vaccine. The latest entrant is the giant UK-based AstraZeneca company.

The drug maker is entering a third phase of testing, and hopes to be able to have the first doses of vaccine in October, with wider availability in 2021. However, there is no assurance the vaccine will actually be effective, safe, and get approval from regulatory agencies for use on the population. While early results are promising, there is no certainty the vaccine will work, or that it might become available before those from other companies, too.

Through its Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the US has invested heavily in several vaccine development programmes, doling out over US$2.1 billion to pharmaceutical companies – both US-based and international – working on coronavirus vaccine development. So far, the grants are supporting vaccine development, testing, and scaling of production.

US president Donald Trump hopes that a vaccine would be ready for widespread use by the end of the year. Several pharmaceutical companies have encouraging early results, and have started testing potential vaccines.