AstraZeneca has said it has the capacity to manufacture one billion doses of the University of Oxford’s potential Covid-19 vaccine and will begin supply in September.

The pharmaceutical firm said it has secured the first agreements for at least 400 million doses of the vaccine.

It said it aims to conclude further deals in order to expand capacity over the next few months to “ensure the delivery of a globally accessible vaccine”.

On Monday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that if Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate proves successful, then up to 30 million doses for the UK could be available by September.

AstraZeneca said it has now finalised its licence agreement with Oxford University for the “recombinant adenovirus vaccine”, which will now be known as AZD1222.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, said: “ 

The company said on Thursday that is has received more than one billion US dollars (£820 million) from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (Barda) for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine, starting in autumn.

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