An Anglo-Swedish company has received a whopping order of 400 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine that is still in the testing phase. The testing has been supported by a US vaccine agency. The drug maker is AstraZeneca that has confirmed having received $1 billion from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine.
The vaccine has been developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, working with the Oxford Vaccine Group that. AstraZeneca has now joint hands with the British government and is also roping in potential partners to roll out mass production of the vaccine.
Known as the AZD1222, the company has now finalized this vaccines license agreement with Oxford University too. Currently, the company is in the position of manufacturing almost 1 billion doses. This vaccine has already been tested in England over a 1000 patients in the age group of 18-55 years. However, it is still under trial and does not guarantee that it would work on humans, as it even could not control the virus when tested on monkeys.
The delivery of the vaccine once tested and results positive will start by September 2020. Earlier this month, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said that if Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate proves successful, up to 30 million doses could be available by September for the most vulnerable in the UK.
Previously, private biotechnological companies in Israel and Germany have also been contacted by the US for first doses of a potential corona virus vaccine they were developing. It is worth noting that the German company had been willing to share the formula for the greater good of humanity. However, those vaccines are also in testing phase.
Speaking over the public spending of funds from the US, Margarida Jorge, the campaign director of the pressure group, Lower Drug Prices Now has said that the U.S. Congress should insist that any drugs developed with taxpayer investments be provided at no additional cost. Also, putting in money into a vaccine that has not yet been proven successful is complete misuse of tax payers’ money.