A billion doses of coronavirus vaccine by Q4 2021 if everything goes well: US expert

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One billion doses of a coronavirus vaccine could be available by the end of next year, if everything goes to plan, according to Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, an oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and one of the architects of Obamacare.

“Johnson & Johnson is doing the last one... They have huge production capacity,” said Emanuel during a virtual panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania.

Emanuel said that perhaps by the first or second quarter of 2021, enough tests could be produced for healthcare workers, and by the latter half of the year, a billion doses may be available for distribution.

“But that’s if everything goes well. We don’t have a lot of coronavirus vaccines because it is a very hard virus to get vaccines on for a whole series of reasons. So, I don’t think we’re going to get a vaccine before next year,” the US health expert said during the panel discussion titled “Are we winning the war against coronavirus?”

Johnson & Johnson said on March 30 that it made a $1 billion deal with the US government to create enough manufacturing capacity for more than 1 billion doses of a vaccine it is testing to fight the new coronavirus.

The medical device company said that the first batches of a vaccine could be available for use under emergency use authorization in early 2021, far quicker than the expected 18-month timeline for vaccines to be tested, approved, and then manufactured.

Read more: Vaccine for coronavirus could be ready in 18 months: WHO

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 1.5 million people and killed more than 87,000 worldwide as of Thursday, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

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- With Reuters

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