COVID-19 vaccine may be ready in a year, says EU

The European Union (EU) Medicines Agency said on Thursday that a COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in about a year in an “optimistic” scenario.

EMA fears it may not have sufficient supplies, especially if a vaccine were developed in the United States or China.

Marco Cavaleri, the head of vaccines at the European Medicines Agency, said the agency is in communication with 33 developers. He said the agency was doing all it could to speed up the approval process.

However, he was sceptical of claims and could be ready by September.

“For vaccines, since the development has to start from scratch … we might look from an optimistic side in a year from now, so beginning of 2021,” he told journalists.

He ruled out the possibility of skipping the third phase of a vaccine trial, which he said would be needed to be sure a vaccine was safe and effective.

Cavaleri said some of those therapeutics could be approved in Europe as early as this summer, but he did not specify which.

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