Association: Covid-19 vaccines could be available early next year

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The world’s major pharmaceutical giants have been devoting their efforts to developing the Covid-19 vaccine for months, and it is likely that the vaccine will be available to the general public early next year, Walter Bolevic, director of the International Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Companies (SIFFA), told LETA.

He said that in the first days of August, there were 26 candidate vaccines in clinical trials and 139 pre-clinical vaccines worldwide. “The difference between the first and the second is that the former are already being tested on humans. In general, a clinical trial involves three stages. In the first phase, vaccines are tested on a few people, less than a hundred, in the second phase, from a hundred to a thousand, while in the third phase, vaccine trials already cover a large number of people in different social groups, ”said Bolevics.

The director of SIFFA noted that currently out of all the candidate vaccines in the third level of clinical trials, which is the most relevant and shows whether the vaccine really works, there are four – a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNtech, a vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca, China. Sinopharm vaccine and Sinovac vaccine from China.

The developers of the first two vaccines – Pfizer and AstraZeneca – are members of SIFFA and are today at the forefront of the vaccine development race. On July 27, the US company Pfizer launched the world’s largest campaign involving 30,000 volunteers to participate in the third phase of the clinical trial. Representatives of the companies promise the results of the third stage of the research by the beginning of November. If the results are positive, then we have to wait for the decision of the regulator, and only after the decision of the regulator will the vaccines be available to people, ”said Bolevics.

He predicted that the vaccine would probably be widely available early next year. “There is a possibility that if the clinical trial continues as smoothly as before and the regulator works as efficiently, the first target group – healthcare and home affairs staff – could receive the vaccine by the end of this year, but this is very unlikely,” he added. .

Bolevics also stressed that pharmaceutical companies have sufficient capacity to produce the necessary vaccines. “The capacity of factories to produce vaccines is not a problem at the moment, Europe is already guaranteed 400 million doses of vaccine. In early June, the European Vaccine Alliance, which includes Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, signed an agreement with AstraZeneca / University of Oxford to purchase 400 million vaccines and make them available to EU citizens. The European Union has a total population of 446 million, which means that we will be able to vaccinate around 90% of the population if, of course, people want to be vaccinated on such a large scale, ”said the SIFFA director.

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