AstraZeneca to start producing potential vaccine
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Drug company AstraZeneca is to start making a potential vaccine for Covid-19, its boss has disclosed this to BBC.
Testing of the drug are under way but Pascal Soriot said the firm must start making doses now so that it can meet demand if the vaccine proves effective.
“We are starting to manufacture this vaccine right now – and we have to have it ready to be used by the time we have the results,” he said.
AstraZeneca make known of producing and being able to supply two billion doses of the vaccine.
Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, Mr Soriot said manufacturing was beginning already because, “we want to be as fast as possible”.
“Of course, with this decision comes a risk but it’s a financial risk and that financial risk is the vaccine doesn’t work,” he added.
He said AstraZeneca would not seek to make a profit from producing the drug during the pandemic.
If it works, the company will be able to produce two billion doses after signing two new contracts on Thursday, one of which was with billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates.