An experimental Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca could be put before regulators this year if scientists are able to gather enough data, said the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group.
“It is just possible that if the cases accrue rapidly in the clinical trials, that we could have that data before regulators this year, and then there would be a process that they go through in order to make a full assessment of the data,” Professor Andrew Pollard from the Oxford Vaccine Group told BBC Radio.
The Oxford vaccine showed early promise in the first human trial when it produced an immune response, underlining its position as one of the leading candidates in the race to produce a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The trial was in the news earlier this week when the Financial Times reported that the Trump administration was considering fast-tracking the vaccine for use in the United States ahead of the November 3 elections.
“The process of going through emergency use authorization in an emergency is well established, but it still involves having carefully conducted data… and evidence that it actually works,” Pollard said.
The Serum Institute of India (SII) is set to begin its phase II/III clinical trials of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine candidate, Covishield, to check its efficacy at Pune’s Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday.
SII is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by the number of doses produced and sold globally. It has entered a manufacturing partnership with AstraZeneca to produce the vaccine.