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22 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

British pharmaceutical boss to lead WHO vaccine task force

By Samuel Horti

A British pharmaceutical expert has been chosen to lead a global United Nations (UN) task force designed to speed up the manufacturing and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

Sir Andrew Witty, former chief executive of the GlaxoSmithKline, will lead the body, which will focus on ensuring a vaccine is fairly distributed throughout the world. It is being set up through the UN and the World Health Organization (WHO), but may be operately independently if needed.

The WHO estimates 70 vaccine candiates are being developed globally, and that five are in clinical trials. That includes the vaccine developed through the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, which will begin human trials later this week. 

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