AstraZeneca says COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in December of this year

AstraZeneca says COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in December of this year

BY KHRISTOPHER J. BROOKS

A long-awaited coronavirus vaccine could be available in roughly two months, according to drugmaker AstraZeneca, which is developing a treatment.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker is working with the University of Oxford to develop one of the most closely watched COVID-19 vaccines, which is in late stage trials in the U.S., the U.K. and other countries to determine its safety and effectiveness. Once those results are reported, regulators will have to approve the vaccine for widespread use.

AstraZeneca said it will analyze data from its vaccine trials in November and December. If the results look promising, it will move quickly to ramp up manufacturing and obtain government approval in the U.S. and elsewhere, Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said Thursday.

"We will be ready to supply hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine around the world starting January," Soriot said during an earnings conference call Thursday. 

AstraZeneca and Oxford have been testing a vaccine in the U.S. for weeks. The trials stopped in September after one participant experienced adverse reactions. AstraZeneca and Oxford restarted trials last month.

AstraZeneca and Oxford are considered the leading candidates in the race to develop an effective COVID-19 vaccine. The university has also been conducting phase-three trials in Brazil and South Africa.