A small study in monkeys offers a note of caution: Teams from Oxford and the U.S. National Institutes of Health found the vaccine protected against pneumonia but didn't eliminate the coronavirus in the nose.
The United States has secured nearly a third of the first 1 billion doses planned for AstraZeneca's experimental Covid-19 vaccine by pledging up to US$1.2 billion (RM5.22 billion), as world powers scramble for medicines to get their economies back to work.
AstraZeneca scored $1 billion from the USA government to help fund the development and distribution of the vaccine earlier this week.
It said that testing would also include a paediatric trial and that it was engaging with worldwide bodies, including the World Health Organization, for the fair allocation and distribution of the potential vaccine around the world. The first doses could be available in the United States as early as October, according to a statement from HHS.
The firm AstraZeneca has concluded deals for 400 million doses of their AZD1222 vaccine now being developed within Oxford University with plans to release it in September this year.
The company said that it is capable of producing over one billion doses of the AZD1222 vaccine for this year and the next. Scientists have already warned that if ever there was to be a coronavirus vaccine, it wouldn't offer full immunity. The UK government, which is also funding the project, has already secured 100 million doses.
The vaccine was originally developed against MERS, the last coronavirus to jump from animals to humans. "We need to be urgently exploring other vaccine candidates".
AstraZeneca said it was in talks with governments and partners around the world - such as the Serum Institute of India - to increase access and production and is speaking to various organisations on fair allocation and distribution.
The company says it has received support of more than 1 billion dollars from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
Adding: "There is uncertainty about how many cases there will be in the next three months".
There are now no approved treatments or vaccines for Covid-19.
There are so far no approved treatments or vaccines for COVID-19 among those being tested by pharmaceutical giants across the world, and experts predict a safe and effective means of preventing the disease could take 12 to 18 months to develop.
Vaccines developed previously for other types of coronavirus had failed to protect mucous membranes in the nose where the virus typically enters the body, he said.