England's National Health Service (NHS) said they are setting all its systems ready to prescribe COVID-19 vaccines before Christmas, if any 200 vaccine applicants are available.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today show, England's National Health Service (NHS) Chief Executive Simon Stevens said they expect that in early 2021, one or more of the more than 200 vaccinations currently being created will be available. 

However, he said the NHS has yet to prepare in case a vaccine becomes ready before Christmas. 

"In anticipation of that, we're also gearing the NHS up to be ready to make a start on administering COVID-19 vaccines before Christmas if they become available," he told BBC Radio as reported by Reuters.

Astrazeneca's COVID-19 Vaccine Trials to Continue Even After A Volunteer Dies
(Photo : Reuters Connect)
FILE PHOTO: A test tube labelled vaccine is seen in front of AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken, September 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Moderna's coronavirus vaccine phase 3 interim results

The NHS chief also said that they would be asking the general practitioners to brace for vaccine administration soon. According to Stevens, the initial phase 3 test results of certain vaccine candidates are scheduled to arrive in the next few weeks. Moderna's mRNA-1273 is one of these contestants.

Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, said in October that he intends his COVID-19 vaccine candidate's preliminary findings to be eligible at some time this month so that they can send them to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). By then, Bancel hopes to get emergency clearance by December.

The first preliminary review of the mRNA-1273 vaccine's effectiveness will be conducted on 53 individuals who have reported symptomatic coronavirus reports.

The UK UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) started rolling its review of the Moderna vaccine nominee on October 29. The organization concluded the registration of all its 30,000 volunteers, although 25,654 participants had already earned their second dose.

As it does its unbiased evaluation of the jab based on Moderna's details, the MHRA will acknowledge and recognize new facts.

For its "Operation Warp Speed" program, the US government picked Moderna to promote a COVID-19 vaccine production. Hence, mRNA-1273 is being produced in cooperation with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

'Small risk' pre-Christmas vaccine

Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of AstraZeneca and Oxford University's COVID-19 vaccine, said there is a limited chance of having a vaccine before Christmas. But he is hopeful about it.

"I'm optimistic that we could reach that point before the end of this year," said Andrew Pollard before British lawmakers as reported by CNBC.

It is anticipated that AstraZeneca will be among the first to send vaccines for regulatory approval. Pollard expects the outcomes of late-stage studies to be available this year so that the vaccine will be distributed by the end of the year or the beginning of 2021.

However, once their vaccine becomes available, authorities who authorize it before it can be used can scrutinize the test findings. Lawmakers will then have to determine who could first get the vaccine.

In the coronavirus war, a vaccine is seen as a game-changer that has now infected 47.5 million individuals and destroyed over 1.2 million people worldwide. It offers hope that the usual life that was turned upside down by the pandemic is returning.

ALSO READ: AstraZeneca/Oxford Vaccine Shows Good Immune Responses in Older Adults

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