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AstraZeneca, Moderna Leading COVID-19 Vaccine Race

Friday, June 26, the WHO said that UK-based AstraZeneca is leading the vaccine rate while US-based pharmaceutical major Moderna is not far behind.

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the Chief Scientist at WHO, said nearly 2 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine would be ready by the end of next year.

According to a statement said by Swaminathan, that AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine candidate is the most advanced vaccine currently in terms of development.

“I think AstraZeneca certainly has a more global scope at the moment in terms of where they are doing and planning their vaccine trials,” she told the media.

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by researchers from the Oxford University will likely provide protection against the disease for one year, the British drug maker’s CEO told Belgian radio station Bel RTL this month.

The Oxford University last month announced the start of Phase II/III UK trial of the vaccine, named AZD1222 (formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19), in about 10,000 adult volunteers. Other late-stage trials are due to begin in a number of countries.

However, making the vaccine available and distributing it to all will be a challenge and will require political will, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday during a meeting with the European Parliament”s Committee for Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety.

One option would be to give the vaccine only to those who are most vulnerable to the virus. There are currently over 100 Covid-19 vaccine candidates in various stages of development.