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Over a million doses of COVID-19 vaccine possible by September: Oxford researcher

Oxford, England: University of Oxford researchers hailed a "really important milestone" on Monday, July 20 as early stage trials indicated its experimental coronavirus vaccine to be safe and effective in producing an immune response.

Lead researcher Andew Pollard said the vaccine was well tolerated by over a 1,000 participants in the trial and that it successfully induces responses from both antibodies and T-cells.
Oxford's vaccine has been produced in partnership with pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca. Early estimates of the production a million doses of the experimental vaccine by September could be an underestimate depending on how quickly late-stage trials can be completed, according to one researcher.

Adrian Hill, the director of the university's Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research, said AstraZeneca's manufacturing capability meant that figured could conceivably be surpassed. He added it was possible that the vaccine would be widely available by the end of the year. The institute's research group leader, Sandy Douglas, said any potential release of the vaccine before the end of 2020 would most like begin with high risk individuals first, before being made open to the rest of the population.

The vaccine, called AZD1222, has been described by the World Health Organization's chief scientist as the leading candidate in a global race to halt a pandemic that has claimed more than 600,000 lives. More than 150 possible vaccines are in various stages of development with U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and China's CanSino Biologics also reporting positive responses for their candidates on Monday.

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