Germany on Wednesday warned against unrealistic expectations on the availability of coronavirus vaccines in development.

“We cannot expect a miracle,” Germany’s Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek told a news conference in Berlin.

“We must continue to assume that vaccines for wider population will only be available from the middle of next year at the earliest,” she added.

There are nearly 170 coronavirus vaccines in development around the world, according to World Health Organization (WHO). 142 candidate vaccines are in preclinical evaluation and 24 in clinical evaluation.

Karliczek noted that German government would provide financial support for the vaccine development projects of three Germany-based biotech companies, BioNTech, CureVac and Biologika.

Advanced vaccine candidate

Turkish professor Ugur Sahin’s BioNTech company and pharma giant Pfizer had announced Monday the start of the late-stage clinical trial of their vaccine candidate.

The initiation of the Phase 2/3 trial will include up to 30,000 participants between 18 and 85 years of age. If the trial is successful, the companies will seek regulatory approval as early as October.

Their aim is to supply up to 100 million doses globally by the end of 2020 and approximately 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021. 

Since first appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions. The US, Brazil, India, and Russia are currently the countries hardest hit in the world.

The pandemic has killed more than 661,000 people worldwide, with over 16.76 million confirmed cases, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University. More than 9.77 million people have recovered from the disease.

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