Thursday on MSNBC, Ruud Dobber, the CEO of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, said he was confident the company would deliver 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine in October.
Host Chuck Todd said, “What makes the United States government’s billion dollars to you guys, what does that give you the resources to do?”
Dobber said, “Well, first of all, we are very pleased, of course, with this agreement. It’s a very substantial agreement, and we really would like to thank Secretary Azar and HHS for that collaboration in this crisis. And to help us further develop the vaccine. The vaccine is one of the most promising vaccines in development. We are working with Oxford Group, a very well known group, on this vaccine for quite some time. This amount of money helps us to deliver 100 million doses to the American citizens in October and another 200 million at the end of 2020, beginning of 2021. So it’s a massive effort in order to make it happen. But we’re very committed in order to do that.”
Todd said, “Are you saying you think you’re going to have a workable vaccine in six months? And that 100 million doses are going to be available to the United States citizens? That’s a realistic timetable?
Dobber said, “We are doing everything, of course, we are in unprecedented times. We all agree with that. There’s a tragedy ongoing in the world both from a personal perspective, as well as from an economic perspective. And we have a huge commitment as an organization in order to make that available. First of all, of course, the vaccine needs to work. As we speak, you mentioned that we have currently vaccinated thousands of volunteers in the United Kingdom. We hope to see the results relatively soon. Assuming that the vaccine shows safety and, to a certain extent, efficacy, we will start large clinical trials in the United States as well as in other parts of the world over the summer period in June, July. Equally, as we speak, we’re beefing up our manufacturing capabilities, and we are confident that we will be able to deliver 100 million doses in October, assuming, of course, the vaccine is working.”
He added, “First of all, we have already done a phase one, a phase two trial. That trial is ongoing as we speak. And, once again, we are expecting in the next few weeks the results of that. It’s monitored by an independent data monitoring committee. And, equally, if the safety of the vaccine is good, we will start as soon as possible these large-scale clinical trials across the world. Safety is always a very important element for vaccine development. But, equally, equally, it’s very important that we work with speed.”
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