The executive chairman (CEO) of the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot, said on Sunday that the British could have access to a vaccine against the new coronavirus from September, if the clinical trials continue.
The French director of the pharmaceutical company, based in Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, said that citizens of that country will be among the first to receive the doses, starting in the fall, in statements to BBC News, cited by the Spanish news agency Efe.
"We received a request from the British government to provide 100 million doses of the vaccine, and these will be sent to the British," said Pascal Soriot during a program on public television.
On Friday, the University of Oxford began recruiting more than 10,000 volunteers in the UK for the new phases of clinical trials on a vaccine it is developing against covid-19.
After, in a first phase started in April, safety tests were carried out on hundreds of people, the next two phases will take place in various parts of the country and involve up to 10,260 volunteers with more age groups, including between 5 and 12 years old and over 56 years.
In the first phase, older volunteers were excluded because they belong to risk groups due to higher mortality in their age group.
The next phases aim to know the degree of effectiveness of the vaccine and potential side effects and priority will be given to people with a higher risk of exposure to the virus, such as health professionals or workers in critical professions with public service.
The research project underway by the University of Oxford received an investment of 20 million pounds (22 million euros) for formalizing a partnership with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Today, director Pascal Soriot, said that the British's access to the vaccine will depend on the experts' work being completed, before transmission levels continue to fall.
“The vaccine has to work and that is an issue. The other is, even if it works, we have to be able to demonstrate it ”, he admitted.
Soriot's statements follow the statements of one of those responsible for the project that is developing the vaccine, published today in The Sunday Telegraph.
The researcher who argued that in view of the reduction in the rate of transmission of covid-19 in the community, the ongoing tests may only be 50% successful.
According to Professor Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute, if the virus spreads very slowly, not enough volunteers will be infected and the study may not definitively demonstrate whether the vaccine is effective.
The specialist recalled that he had already warned of the possibility, with 80% success, of developing an effective vaccine before September.
“But at the moment, there is a 50% chance of not getting results. We are in the strange position of wanting the covid-19 to remain, at least for a while. For this reason, experts need to move as quickly as possible before the disease goes away to demonstrate that the vaccine is effective, ”he noted, quoted by EFE.
Globally, according to a report by the AFP news agency, the covid-19 pandemic has already caused more than 342,000 deaths and infected more than 5.3 million people in 196 countries and territories.
More than two million patients were considered cured.
In Portugal, 1,316 people died of the 30,623 confirmed to be infected, and there are 17,549 recovered cases, according to the Directorate-General for Health.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.
After Europe succeeded China as the center of the pandemic in February, the American continent became the one with the most confirmed cases (more than 2.4 million, against two million on the European continent), although with fewer deaths (more than 142 thousand, against more than 173 thousand).