German institute says COVID-19 vaccine could be available in autumn

  • World
  • Wednesday, 12 Aug 2020

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's leading infectious disease institute said on Wednesday a first vaccine against the coronavirus could be available as early as autumn but warned that it may take longer to control the pandemic.

"Preliminary projections make the availability of one or several vaccines seem possible by autumn 2020," the Robert Koch Institute said in a statement on its website, citing a global effort to bring immunisations to market.

"It would be dangerous at this point to trust that a vaccination from autumn 2020 can control the pandemic," it cautioned.

The impact of any vaccine could be limited because of viral mutations or because first products to market may offer only short-term immunity, the institute added.

German biotech firm BioNTech, which is working with U.S. pharma giant Pfizer on a novel vaccine, on Tuesday reiterated it aimed to file for emergency authorization or approval as early as October, if ongoing trials succeed.

Also that day, Russia became the world's first country to grant regulatory approval for a COVID-19 vaccine, without producing late-stage trial data, which raised concerns among several global health experts.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger, editing by Thomas Escritt and Madeline Chambers)

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