AstraZeneca, the British pharmaceutical company, said on Thursday it was still possible for its coronavirus vaccine to be available at the end of this year or the beginning of 2021.

The claim was made by Pascal Soriot, the company’s chief executive, at a media event.

It came after trials of the vaccine AstraZeneca is developing with Oxford University were paused yesterday after the “potentially unexpected illness” of one participant.

Soriot said: “I still think we are on track for having a set of data that we would submit before the end of the year.”

“We could still have a vaccine by the end of this year, early next year,” he said, adding the time frame depends on how quickly regulators move.

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