AstraZeneca will have enough COVID-19 vaccine for 200 million doses this year

FILE PHOTO: AstraZeneca's logo is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca will have enough of its candidate vaccine for 200 million doses by the end of 2020, with drug substance for 700 million doses by the end of the first quarter of 2021 globally, operations executive Pam Cheng said on Monday.

Cheng told a briefing that the company would keep the “active” drug substance in stock while it awaited regulatory approval around the world.

She said there would be enough vaccine for 20 million doses in Britain by the end of the year, with enough “active” drug substance for 70 million doses for the UK by the end of Q1 2021.

She said she expected that to translate into 4 million finished vaccine doses by the end of 2020, and 40 million finished doses by the end of Q1 next year.

Those calculations were based on using two full doses, she said, although trial data suggests higher efficacy when the initial shot is a half dose.

“If we go with a half dose you can imagine for the initial dose, we will be able to double the number of vaccinations here,” she said.

She said the figures referred to the vaccine doses being manufactured by AstraZeneca, and not those being made by manufacturing partners.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton, writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Catherine Evans and Jason Neely