LONDON: Data from trials of the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by a team from Oxford University in conjunction with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca might be available within weeks.
The news comes after US drugs company Pfizer announced that trials of its own COVID-19 vaccine, developed in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech, had returned an almost 90 percent success rate, clearing the way for licensing and distribution.
Experts said Pfizer’s announcement had raised hopes that dozens of other potential vaccines currently being trialled could soon return similar positive results.
Sir John Bell, leader of the Oxford vaccine team, told the BBC: “Data from our first interim analysis is also likely to be available in the very near future, and by that I mean weeks not months.”
Prof. Robin Shattock, leader of another advanced COVID-19 vaccine, developed by a team at Imperial College London, said: “Assuming it’s supported by the data, then this not only represents a potential breakthrough for Pfizer/BioNTech, but also for vaccines in general.”
He added: “Hopefully this is the first of many vaccine candidates to be seen to work. A significant light at the end of the tunnel.”
Prof. Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said: “This is a huge milestone. More importantly, it is good news for many of the vaccines to come.”