400 Million Coronavirus Vaccine Doses Supplied For No-Profit
A global pharmaceutical company based in London seeking to provide broad and equitable access to a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus vaccine announced it has reached an agreement with Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance to supply up to 400 million doses of the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, for no profit.
Spearheaded by Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, AstraZeneca stated it will begin vaccine deliveries starting by the end of 2020.
By vaccinating people with AZD1222 (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19), scientists believe the body will recognize and develop an immune response to the Spike protein that will help stop the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from entering human cells and therefore, prevent an infection.
Vaccines made from the ChAdOx1 virus have been given to more than 320 people to date and have been shown to be well tolerated, although they can cause temporary side effects such as temperature, influenza-like symptoms, headache or a sore arm, says AstraZeneca.
Additionally, AstraZeneca is seeking to expand manufacturing capacity further and is open to collaborating with other companies in order to meet its commitment to support access to the vaccine at no profit during the pandemic.
Currently, AstraZeneca says it has a ‘total manufacturing capacity currently stands at 2-billion vaccine doses.’
Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a press statement: “This agreement will ensure that hundreds of millions of Europeans have access to Oxford University’s vaccine following approval.”
“With our European supply chain due to begin production soon, we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly.”
“I would like to thank the governments of Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands for their commitment and swift response.”
AstraZeneca recently completed similar agreements with the UK, USA, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and Gavi the Vaccine Alliance for 700 million doses.
Furthermore, AstraZeneca said it will establish a license with the Serum Institute of India, for the supply of an additional 1-billion vaccine doses, principally for low- and middle-income countries.
From a vaccine efficacy perspective, Oxford University announced in May 2020 the start of Phase II/III UK clinical trial of AZD1222 in about 10,000 adult volunteers.
Other late-stage trials are due to begin in a number of countries.
AstraZeneca says ‘it recognizes that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical program with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk.’
The AZD1222 vaccine was developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, working with the Oxford Vaccine Group. It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold (adenovirus) virus that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack COVID-19 if it later infects the body.
The recombinant adenovirus vector (ChAdOx1) was chosen to generate a strong immune response from a single dose and it is not replicating, so it cannot cause an ongoing infection in the vaccinated individual.
AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.
Precision Vaccinations publishes coronavirus vaccine development news.