German institute says COVID-19 vaccine could be available by October

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Germany’s leading infectious disease institute said a first vaccine against the coronavirus could be available as early as autumn but warned that it may take longer to control the pandemic.

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

“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.

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“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.

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.

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