Covid-19 vaccine could be available in June 2021, says university official

Covid-19 vaccine

The potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and Oxford University could be cleared for public use in June 2021, according to Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) rector Soraia Smaili in an interview with newscast channel GloboNews.  

The vaccine is currently in its third and final phase of testing, being administered to 50,000 volunteers worldwide. In Brazil, the federal government has already authorized 5,000 trials on health workers, with Unifesp overseeing the administration of the vaccine to 2,000 participants in São Paulo.

Ms. Samili believes that the high number of volunteers receiving the vaccine could shorten the duration of phase three from a typical expectation of 18 months down to just 12, which would make the vaccine available in June 2021.

She also warns that, even with the unprecedented urgency that the Covid-19 vaccine warrants, it needs to follow regular testing procedures and await outcomes of at least the first six months to have a “set of results” that could prove its effectiveness.

The AstraZeneca vaccine was the first prospective vaccine to reach phase three in the world and is currently considered the furthest developed Covid-19 vaccine study by the World Health Organization. Its promising results have led the Brazilian government to invest as much as BRL 695 million (USD 129.5 million) in the development and production of the vaccine in Brazil.   

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