European expert: Coronavirus vaccine could be approved early next year

European Medicines Agency says a vaccine for COVID-19 might even be approved in early 2021 in a “best-case scenario”.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine

The European Medicines Agency predicted on Thursday that there could be licensed drugs to treat the new coronavirus in the next few months and that a vaccine might even be approved in early 2021 in a “best-case scenario”, reports The Associated Press.

Dr. Marco Cavaleri, who heads the European regulator’s vaccines department, told a media briefing that approving medicines to treat COVID-19 might be possible “before the summer,” citing ongoing clinical trials.

Recent early results for the drug remdesivir suggested it could help patients recover from the coronavirus faster, although longer-term data is still needed to confirm any benefit.

Although it typically takes years to develop a vaccine, Cavaleri said that if some of the shots already being tested prove to be effective, they could be licensed as early as the beginning of next year.

He cautioned, however, that many experimental vaccines never make it to the end and that there are often delays.

“But we can see the possibility that if everything goes as planned, vaccines could be approved a year from now,” he said, according to AP.

At the moment, there are about a dozen vaccine candidates being tested in China, Britain, Germany and the US.

The World Health Organization has estimated it could take about 12 to 18 months for an effective vaccine to be found.

Some officials have warned that a vaccine might never be found, and previous attempts to develop a vaccine against related coronaviruses like SARS and MERS have all failed. Cavleri, however, was optimistic an immunization against COVID-19 would eventually be discovered, as there are various technologies being tried globally.

“I think it's a bit early to say, but we have good reason to be sufficiently optimistic that at the end of the day, some vaccines will make it,” he said.