European regulators could approve the first vaccine against Covid-19 this year, after a flurry of trials by pharma companies leading the race showed promising results, Bloomberg said.
The portal quotes Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccines at the European Medicines Agency: “We are preparing ourselves for that possibility so that we as regulators will be ready. It will be a matter of seeing whether this data could be sufficient for allowing any kind of approval by the end of 2020.”
The Agency will be working with these companies on trial data, manufacturing and clinical decisions. The approach should allow any successful vaccine to be officially approved within a matter of days once submitted, Cavaleri noted.
Optimism over prospects for Covid-19 vaccines has grown after both the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc published promising results from early human tests. Vaccine partners Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, as well as China-based CanSino Biologics Inc., also announced early positive data from their vaccine trials. AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said the company hopes to be able to start delivering a vaccine by end 2020.
The first approved shot will probably be for adults only, as child testing takes longer and children are seemingly not as seriously affected by the disease, Cavaleri said. More research is needed on the rate of transmission by children, and the regulator will have to consider the risks and benefits of giving any vaccine to them, he added.
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