- US Pharma firm Pfizer now leading in COVID-19 vaccine race
- Pfizer’s CEO says the vaccine could be ready by Christmas
- Pfizer leaves Oxford’s AstraZeneca behind which might not be ready by that time
The chief officials of the British government believe that the German COVID-19 vaccine which has been backed by the US based pharmaceutical firm Pfizer could be ready for distribution by Christmas, even before the results are in on Oxford’s AstraZeneca’s competing vaccine, with the first doses earmarked for the elderly and vulnerable, according to a report.
The report said, “Senior government sources expect that a verdict on whether it works will be available before Oxford’s competing vaccine, which may not provide results until after Christmas,”.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, told the Times that the vaccine for the novel Coronavirus was in the “last mile” and the company expects the results in a matter of weeks.
The US based pharma giant could supply almost 40 million (4 crore) doses in the US in 2020 if the clinical trials proceed as expected and the drug regulators approve the vaccine, the CEO added. Having said this, the CEO says the firm still had not reached key benchmarks in assessing vaccine efficacy.
Bourla said that the company is expecting to file for emergency use authorization for its Coronavirus vaccine in the third week of November, roughly in line with earlier timetables.
Meanwhile, the UK government has already bought enough doses for 20 million (2 crore) people and is forestalling that some will be available for use immediately if the drug is proven to be successful.
The UK has also agreed on supply deals for six COVID-19 vaccine candidates including frontrunners from Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
The overall number of Coronavirus cases worldwide has crossed 44.7 million (4.47 crore), while the fatalities have surged to 1,179,466, as per a Johns Hopkins University report.
As of 29 October afternoon, the total cases and death toll of COVID-19 stood at 44,789,859 and 1,179,466 , respectively, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.
America is the worst-hit country with the world with the highest number of cases and deaths at 89,121,800 and 233,137, respectively, according to the CSSE. India stands 2nd on the list in terms of Covid-19 cases at 8,040,203, while the country’s death toll reached a total of 120,563