Although there are two vaccines, most eyes are on Oxford as it’s more advanced
The UK has two vaccines in human trials. One being developed by London’s Imperial College is at an early stage — in Phase 1 — with a small group of people involved.
The other — developed at Oxford University — is further ahead — in Phase 2 and 3 trials.
Thousands of people in the UK, Brazil, and in South Africa are currently getting doses. But there are concerns amongst developing countries about how fair access to the vaccine — should it succeed — will be guaranteed.
Although two vaccines, most eyes are on Oxford as it’s more advanced. Trials In Brazil and South Africa are ongoing to check it works across a broad range of people — and because of not enough cases in the UK.
The results are not expected until late August at the earliest but could be the end of the year. The limiting factor is how many of those people become exposed to the virus.
But even though researchers don’t yet know whether it works — pre-orders are already being made. AstraZeneca, the UK based pharmaceutical company has been tasked with making the vaccine and it says it has the capacity to make 2 billion.
That’s not for profit, but the countries themselves will need to pay. A 100 million are reserved for the UK, 400 for the US, and 400 for EU countries — with other European countries possibly included.
For developing countries, one route is 300 CEPI/GAVI — two charities that specialise in ensuring vaccine access to developing countries.
But also the Serum Institute of India — a vaccine maker and distributor — has ordered 1 billion doses. And part of that agreement is that doses go to low and middle-income countries — as well as to India.
How that will be divided we don’t yet know