First Covid-19 vaccine could be available in Ireland before end of year
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First Covid-19 vaccine could be available in Ireland before end of year

IRELAND COULD have access to the first Covid-19 vaccine before the end of 2020.

According to Pfizer Ireland and its German partner BioNTech, they will be in a position to hand out approximately 100 million doses of the experimental vaccine.

Ireland is also one of several countries that would be in line to receive the vaccine first, provided it receives emergency use approval from the US Food and Drug Authorisation agency and also the European Medicines Agency.

FDA approval is not being sought until after the result of the US presidential election is confirmed.

All being well, the processes could take a matter of weeks with the vaccine available soon after.

The two-dose vaccine, BNT162b2, has already been tested on 35,000, as part of a trial involving 39,862 volunteers.

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Speaking to the Irish Independent, Paul Reid, managing director of Pfizer Ireland, said clinical trials were accelerating.

“We can have 100 million doses by the end of 2020. If we have an advance purchase agreement with the EU Commission, that is secured. Part of that would include a volume we think we can make available across Europe.

"We are accelerating through the clinical trial programme at breakneck speed. We are seeing a speed of recruitment into the trials that we have never seen before.”

He added: “The FDA will review the data with their own scientists. It will be reviewed by an external panel of independent experts at a publicly held meeting. We are going to have to demonstrate the quality and consistency of the vaccine.

"We are trying to be as open as possible. We are sharing any conclusive read-out data, whether positive or negative, within a few days after independent scientists see it. The positivity around the vaccine is predicated on good science so far."