Coronavirus: AstraZeneca could begin supply of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine in September

The drugs giant says it has the capacity to manufacture one billion doses.

AstraZeneca also said it has already taken orders for at least 400 million doses of the coronavirus jab it is developing with Oxford University.

It intends to negotiate further deals on capacity to "ensure the delivery of a globally accessible vaccine".

The Oxford team is still testing its potential vaccine to ensure it works.

Results from an early stage clinical trial in southern England are expected shortly.

If those are successful, other trials will follow in a number of countries, according to AstraZeneca.

It was announced earlier this week that plans are in place to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine to 30 million people in the UK by September, if trials at Oxford are successful.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, said: "We need to defeat the virus together or it will continue to inflict huge personal suffering and leave long-lasting economic and social scars in every country around the world.

"We are so proud to be collaborating with Oxford University to turn their ground-breaking work into a medicine that can be produced on a global scale.

"We would like to thank the US and UK governments for their substantial support to accelerate the development and production of the vaccine.

"We will do everything in our power to make this vaccine quickly and widely available."

The multinational pharmaceutical company added that it had received more than $1bn (£820m) from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for the development, production and delivery of a vaccine, starting in the autumn.

"The development programme includes a Phase III clinical trial with 30,000 participants and a paediatric trial," it said.

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