AstraZeneca expects the EU drug regulator to give approval for a factory in the Netherlands that is helping make its Covid-19 vaccine later this month or in early April, a senior executive said in a briefing on Monday.
The status of the Leiden-based plant, run by sub-contractor Halix, is closely watched as it is listed as a supplier of vaccines in both the contracts that AstraZeneca has signed with Britain and with the European Union.
Ruud Dobber, executive vice president of the BioPharmaceuticals business, also said the US authorities are "very excited" by its interim analysis of data from its US clinical trial, which shows the vaccine is 79% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19.
But it is up to the US government to decide how they are distributed, he said.
Asked if there was any indication how the shots which will be supplied to the US government under its supply contract may be used, he said he would be "very surprised" if they were not deployed to vaccinate Americans.