(June 16, 2020) AstraZeneca CEO Soriot says fast-tracked COVID-19 shot will protect for just one year
AstraZeneca, advancing a COVID-19 vaccine from the University of Oxford,
is among global frontrunners in the worldwide hunt for a viable vaccine.
Now, the drugmaker’s CEO says the vaccine is expected to provide protection for one year.
“We think that it will protect for about a year,” AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on a Belgian radio station, according to reports.
After that protection runs out, it isn’t clear whether recipients would be instructed
to get another dose, or another vaccine, or rely on COVID-19 treatments if they’re approved.
So far, Gilead’s remdesivir is the only treatment with an emergency use authorization, but research is underway on many other options.
On Tuesday, researchers in the United Kingdom reported that the inexpensive steroid dexamethasone cut deaths by a third for patients on ventilation.
Numerous governments have already signed deals with the drugmaker to order doses,
including an agreement over the weekend from Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands worth $843 million for 300 million doses.
Before that deal, AstraZeneca agreed to provide doses to the United Kingdom and inked a $1.2 billion agreement with the U.S. government for hundreds of millions of doses.
The company has also struck deals with CEPI and Gavi, the Vaccine alliance—plus the Serum Institute of India—to allow for access in low- and middle-income countries.
(July 27, 2020) AstraZeneca to Be Exempt From Coronavirus Vaccine Liability Claims in Most Countries
“This is a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in … four years the vaccine is showing side effects,” Ruud Dobber,
a member of Astra’s senior executive team, told Reuters. “In the contracts we have in place, we are asking for indemnification.
For most countries it is acceptable to take that risk on their shoulders because it is in their national interest,”
he said, adding that Astra and regulators were making safety and tolerability a top priority. Dobber would not name the countries.
EU officials told Reuters this week product liability was among contentious points in European
efforts to secure supply deals for potential COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson.
The United States, however, already has a law to exclude tort claims from products that help control a public-
health crises in the form of the 2005 Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness, or PREP Act.
(August 3, 2020) Pfizer says Covid-19 vaccine may be needed regularly
Pfizer expects that a Covid-19 vaccine could be needed regularly to effectively protect from the virus.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was quoted as saying: “There is a likely scenario that either the vaccine’s immunity will not be lasting forever,
or that the virus will mutate, or that the virus will find ways to come back again and again.”
During its earnings call on 28 July, the company proposed a two-phase commercial strategy
for its vaccine, which is being developed in alliance with German company BioNTech and is currently undergoing clinical trials.
The first pandemic phase is expected to last through 2020 or into 2021,
and will see dose production in high volumes for mass vaccinations, with pricing for broad access.
This broad access pricing is a $1.95bn agreement signed by the US Government last week to buy 100 million doses
of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, if it receives regulatory approval.
During the second seasonal phase, Pfizer sees the need for regular annual or bi-annual immunisations.
This phase is set to involve a value-based pricing approach.