The global race for a COVID-19 vaccine is speeding up.
The U.S. is expecting to start producing doses of a potential vaccine by the end of the summer.
According to CNBC on Monday, a senior U.S. official said that the manufacturing process is already underway, despite the uncertainty of which potential vaccine, if any, will work.
He said that drugmakers have started buying equipment and raw materials, and securing production sites.
The Trump administration has selected four potential vaccines.
On the list are biotech company Moderna and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson.
Both are likely to begin the next stage of human trials by the end of the month.
The official says that the list could grow.
The news comes just a day after Russia said it has successfully completed human trials.
In the meantime, around 1-hundred-20 vaccine candidates are under development - including one in the U.K. which has already begun testing on humans.
And two vaccine candidates developed by U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German firm BioNTech have been granted FDA fast track designation, which allows swift regulatory approval.
Following right up in the race is South Korea.
The International Vaccine Institute has partnered with Seoul National University Hospital to start a clinical trial of a vaccine candidate developed by U.S. company INOVIO.
They are conducting two phases at once Phase 1 - which tests the safety of a vaccine,and Phase 2, which looks into its target population.
"So we are calling it a 1/2 because start off slow, because it's never been tested in Korea before. The protocol is designed rather than having the separate Phase 1 that has to be reviewed and approved, and the separate Phase 2 that needs to be reviewed and approved. What we did was that we combined them together, that allows us to accelerate the testing…"
Despite the tremendous progress, some experts remain uncertain about the effectiveness of a vaccine, with some studies suggesting antibodies against COVID-19 last for only a few months.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.