AstraZeneca Plc will make as many as 30 million doses of coronavirus vaccine available to the U.K. by September and has committed to delivering 100 million doses this year. The U.K. will be the first country to get access to the vaccine should it be successful.
The vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford will get 65.5 million pounds ($79 million) of funding, U.K. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said today in a statement. The inoculation is already being studied in humans and could reach late-stage trials by the middle of the year. Another 18.5 million pounds will go to Imperial College London as trials accelerate.
Drugmakers are scaling up to make a Covid vaccine before the shots are fully tested, so inoculations will be ready as soon as possible. No vaccine exists yet for Covid-19, which has killed more than 312,000 people globally and infected 4.7 million. The U.K. has the second-deadliest outbreak after the U.S.
In this day and age, understanding bacteria and viruses and developing vaccines are national security issues. In my view sizable part of every country’s defense budget should be spent in these pursuits rather than making tanks and other weapons.
There are believers in the discovery reported today and then there are the critics: