It may be possible, but by no means certain that it will be possible to market the corona vaccine of the University of Oxford at the end of this year.
Professor Sarah Gilbert, who leads the clinical trial, explained the follow-up process a day after the publication of promising initial results to BBC Radio.
“The goal of rolling out the vaccine at the end of this year is one of the possibilities, but there is no certainty because three things have to be done first,” said Gilbert.
First, the final phase of the study should demonstrate that the vaccine actually protects people against the coronavirus for a more extended period.
Interim results that the researchers released Monday in the scientific journal The Lancet already showed that the vaccine is safe and puts the immune system to work against the virus.
However, ongoing research in Brazil, South Africa and soon, the United States will still show whether the vaccine is good enough.
The second step is that there is sufficient production capacity. Oxford already has agreements with the large pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. Together they aim to produce the first million vaccines by September.
Finally, public administrations evaluating vaccines will need accelerated approval of the drug if they are to make it available to their populations quickly.
Vaccines against the coronavirus are being developed worldwide. The Lancet, for example, also contained hopeful interim results of a Chinese candidate vaccine on Monday.