It will be at least another year before a vaccine against the new coronavirus will be ready for approval and available in sufficient quantities, the EU medicines agency said on Tuesday.
As the number of declared coronavirus cases worldwide passed 800,000 on Tuesday, according to an AFP news agency tally, the race is on to develop a vaccine against Covid-19, which emerged from China late last year.
The European Medicines Agency said in a statement it "estimates that it might take at least one year before a vaccine against Covid-19 is ready for approval and available in sufficient quantities to enable widespread use".
This was based on currently available information and past experience with vaccine development timeframes, the Amsterdam-based agency said.
It added that two vaccines have already entered the first phase of a clinical trial that was carried out on healthy volunteers.
But in general "timelines for the development of medicinal products are difficult to predict", the EMA said.
So far, no medicine has yet shown to be a treatment for the coronavirus, that has so far claimed some 40,000 lives. (AFP)
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