AstraZeneca hopes to file for emergency use authorization of its COVID vaccine within a few weeks

Author: CAITLIN YILEK / CBS NEWS Writer: Derrick Shaw
FILE – This Saturday, July 18, 2020 file photo shows a general view of AstraZeneca offices and the corporate logo in Cambridge, England. Oxford University says on Saturday, Sept. 12 trials of a coronavirus vaccine that it is developing with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will resume, days after being paused due to a reported side-effect in a patient in the U.K. The university said in large trials such as this “it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety.” (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, file)

As the U.S. continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, it could soon have a new source of hope: a fourth vaccine. An executive at AstraZeneca told CBS News on Friday that the company plans to file for emergency use authorization of its vaccine in the coming weeks, pending the results of a clinical trial.

Ruud Dobber, executive vice president at AstraZeneca, told CBSN anchor Tanya Rivero on Friday that the drugmaker hopes to receive the results of its clinical trial “in the next few weeks.” It then plans on immediately seeking emergency use authorization for its two-dose vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration, he said. If authorized, he said AstraZeneca is prepared to deliver tens of millions of doses to the U.S.

“In the first months after the [authorization], we’re planning to deliver roughly 50 million doses instantly to Americans,” Dobber said.

Aside from the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Three other vaccines have already been approved for use in the U.S.: Moderna’s and Pfizer’s, which are both two doses, and Johnson & Johnson’s, which requires only one dose.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is already being administered internationally, after it received the go-ahead from the European Union, the U.K. and the World Health Organization in recent months.

Dobber said AstraZeneca’s current vaccine may prove effective against at least one of the emerging mutations of the disease.

“We’re very hopeful that it’s very effective against the U.K. variant,” he said.

The company is already “developing a potential new vaccine in case our current vaccine is not as effective as we were hoping for,” Dobber said.

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