Europe is on the global frontline in terms of developing a COVID-19 vaccine, and the results of an ongoing research could lead to first doses of the vaccine “by autumn-winter”, a prominent Italian health expert said on Wednesday.
“Europe is far ahead of the United States in terms of new coronavirus vaccine, and we are getting ready for having a consistent part of it produced in Italy,”
Walter Ricciardi, adviser to the Italian Health Ministry for the COVID-19 emergency, told public TV RAI 3.
Ricciardi, who is also director of Department of Public Health and deputy head of the Faculty of Medicine at the Rome-based Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, and Italian representative in the executive committee of the World Health Organization (WHO), explained that a vaccine research project conducted by an Anglo-Italian partnership was “in a more advanced development phase” compared with others.
“With respect to the timing, if all goes well, we might have the first doses of the vaccine in Europe, and of course in Italy, by autumn-winter,” he said.
The Anglo-Italian COVID-19 vaccine research that Ricciardi referred to was being carried out by Italian private company Advent-IRBM — based in Pomezia near Rome — and the Jenner Institute, which is part of the Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
In April, the Anglo-Italian team announced the start of the human testing of the vaccine at the end of that month in the UK.
At the time, Advent-IRBM also suggested that, in the best scenario, its potential vaccine could be ready for human use as early as in September.
“We are getting ready for Italy to be among the leading countries on this front,” Ricciardi noted on Wednesday.
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