Pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca sign pact to mass produce COVID-19 vaccine

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has yesterday agreed to mass-produce a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University scientists.

Human trials of the experimental jab – called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 – started last week and the first results are expected in mid-June.

If proven to protect against the deadly virus, the deal will allow the UK to access to the vaccine ‘as early as possible’, the university said today.

Details of the agreement – described by Health Secretary Matt Hancock as ‘hugely welcome news’ – are set to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Both partners said yesterday that the venture was not-for-profit and only the costs of production and distribution would be covered.

Developing vaccinations can take up to a decade and scientists have said finding an effective jab within 18 months would be ‘unprecedented’.

But researchers across the world are hurtling towards the target, with more than 100 candidates in development and some already being trialled on humans.

Imperial College London researchers plan to test another experimental jab, which works slightly differently, on humans this summer.(Daily Mail)

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