UK based drugs manufacturer, AstraZeneca, yesterday said a COVID-19 vaccine could still be available by as early as the end of the year, despite a randomised clinical trial being paused.
Chief executive, Pascal Soriot, said they could still have a vaccine by the end of this year or early next year.
According to him, an independent committee was drafted in to review safety but the company said it was a routine action designed to maintain the integrity of the trials.
“We will be guided by this committee as to when the trials could restart, so that we can continue our work at the earliest opportunity,” Soriot said.
It will be recalled that AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate is one of nine around the world currently in late-stage Phase 3 human trials.
In the US, the company began enrolling 30,000 volunteers across dozens of sites on August 31, and smaller groups are being tested in Brazil and elsewhere in South America.