Scientists at the University of Oxford expect to publish the results of advanced stage trials of their Covid-19 vaccine by Christmas, a key researcher said on Thursday as he discussed the team’s latest findings .
Dr Andrew Pollard, an expert in pediatric infection and immunity at Oxford, said research had been slowed by low infection rates over the summer, but phase III trials are now accumulating the data needed to make results as a new wave of pandemic strikes countries around. the world. Oxford is developing its vaccine in collaboration with drug maker AstraZeneca.
“I think we’re getting closer, and it will definitely be before Christmas depending on the progress,” Pollard said in an interview with the BBC.
Two other drugmakers, Pfizer and Moderna, this week reported preliminary results from late-stage trials showing their Covid-19 vaccines to be nearly 95% effective.
Pollard said there is no competition between the different research teams, as multiple vaccines will be needed to bring the global pandemic under control and allow life to return to normal.
Despite recent progress, Pollard said the world was still in the early stages of the effort to protect people from Covid-19. Even after the vaccines are approved by regulators, drugmakers and public health officials still have to produce billions of doses and administer them to people all over the world, he said.
Pollard, an amateur mountaineer, compared the task to the work involved in climbing a mountain.
“I think we’re still at the foot of this mountain in some ways,” he says.
“We did the route to the foot of the mountain, the long journey to get to the start. Now we need to get the vaccine data in front of the regulators so they can review it and approve the first vaccines. And then we have this huge effort to climb to the top where we have a vast majority of those at risk vaccinated.
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