AstraZeneca signed an agreement with the Government of Costa Rica to supply one million doses of its candidate vaccine against COVID-19, AZD1222, developed together with the University of Oxford. It is estimated that the vaccine will be available from the first quarter of 2021 if the clinical trials underway are successful and subject to approval by regulatory agencies.
AstraZeneca continues to advance its response to address the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic by collaborating with various governments and multilateral organizations to achieve the goal of supporting broad access and equitable cost of the AZD1222 Vaccine at low cost during the Pandemic.
Rafael Mendoza, President of AstraZeneca for the Central America and Caribbean region, said: “At AstraZeneca, we reaffirm our commitment to promote broad and equitable access to the AZD1222 candidate vaccine in Central America and the Caribbean if it is safe and effective.
We are honored that the Government of Costa Rica has chosen the AZD1222 vaccine candidate as part of its vaccination plan against COVID-19 and we will continue to collaborate to co-create solutions and respond to the multiple challenges of this Pandemic”.
Clinical trials underway
Phase II / III clinical trials are underway in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Brazil, while Phase I / II clinical trials are ongoing in South Africa, Japan, Kenya, and Russia. These trials will determine vaccine protection against COVID-19 and measure immune response and safety in up to 50,000 participants globally across a wide age range and diverse groups and geographies.
On October 1st, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced that its Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) had started a process of continuous review of AZD1222. The ongoing review process is a flexible regulatory tool that regulators use to advance the evaluation of a promising drug or vaccine during a public health emergency.
AZD1222 was the first COVID-19 vaccine to be accepted for this process by the EMA. Other regulatory agencies, including those of Canada, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Australia, South Korea, and Switzerland have also initiated review protocols for the candidate vaccine.