Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, said the British vaccine could be approved for emergency immunization of doctors and others at risk by Christmas. He acknowledges that the term is tight but viable.
“Billions of doses” are already being produced at ten factories around the world through a consortium coordinated by the pharmaceutical company AstraZenca, he explained.
Hill believes the vaccination program, which is set to begin earlier this year, will put the epidemic on a downward slope by the end of spring, at least in the UK.
Clinical trials to date have had good results in terms of efficacy and safety, triggering strong immune responses, including in the elderly.
The British vaccine is in advanced third-phase clinical trials in the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa, but also in India and the United States.