Covid-19 vaccine to be co-produced in Czechia

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The Novavax vaccine, with nearly 90 percent efficacy, is almost ready to be introduced to the market, according to Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček.

Czech scientists also participated in developing the vaccine from the American company Novavax, which could reach people in April.

“I know that they have started the production of the vaccine, I know that it is a matter of certificates and approvals,” said Havlíček when asked whether the start of commercial production of the vaccine is really close.

Marketwatch, a financial news portal, stated that Novavax is to produce up to 1 billion doses later this year, and a significant part of it should be made in the Czech subsidiary company NOVAVAX CZ near Prague.

“Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who visited the factory and is in contact with the manufacturer, is very involved in this,” Havlíček added.

According to the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Novavax is quite far in the vaccine development process, and the vaccine could soon enter commercial production.

“There is a great chance that it would actually hit the market in 2021,” said Karel Havlíček.

“I visited the Novavax company in Bohumil near Prague, and it should produce a billion doses a year. So far, unfortunately, it’s a bit behind schedule. They are testing the vaccine in the UK, and the studies have turned out very well. The assumption is that deliveries could start as early as April. That is the last information I have,” said the prime minister.

Minister of Industry and Trade Havlíček also emphasized that this would be a great success for the Czech Republic.

“Of course, I do not mean the success of the government, but the success of Czech developers, scientists, and, of course, our people who are in the factory and who have already built the base here,” Havlíček concluded.

The arrival of another vaccine on the market would significantly relieve the EU countries that currently struggle with a vaccine shortage.

The Novavax vaccine, called NVX-CoV2373, has an efficiency of 89 percent, and the third, final phase of testing has already taken place or is underway. The company has recently announced that the results of phase three clinical study in the United Kingdom will be available later this quarter. In December, phase three was also launched in the United States and Mexico.

Title image: A vial of the Phase 3 Novavax coronavirus vaccine is seen ready for use in the trial at St. George’s University hospital in London Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Novavax Inc. said Thursday Jan. 28, 2021 that its COVID-19 vaccine appears 89% effective based on early findings from a British study and that it also seems to work — though not as well — against new mutated strains of the virus circulating in that country and South Africa. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

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