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Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist of the World Health Organisation. (Photo: FAO/IANS)

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said that UK-based AstraZeneca is leading the vaccine race while US-based pharmaceutical major Moderan is not far behind.

The organisation also admitted the probability of the world having a Covid-19 vaccine within one year or even a few months earlier.

WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan stated that the AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine candidate is the most advanced vaccine currently in terms of development.

“I think AstraZeneca certainly has a more global scope at the moment in terms of where they are doing and planning their vaccine trials,” she told the media.

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by researchers from the Oxford University will likely provide protection against the disease for one year, the British drug maker’s CEO told Belgian radio station Bel RTL this month.

The Oxford University last month announced the start of a Phase II/III UK trial of the vaccine, named AZD1222 (formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19), in about 10,000 adult volunteers. Other late-stage trials are due to begin in a number of countries.

Last week, Swaminathan had said that nearly 2 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine would be ready by the end of next year.

Addressing the media from Geneva, she said that “at the moment, we do not have a proven vaccine but if we are lucky, there will be one or two successful candidates before the end of this year” and 2 billion doses by the end of next year.

Also Read: AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine likely to give one year immunity

Also Read: Chinese Firm’s Phase-3 Vaccine Trial In UAE

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