A European Commission (EU) global campaign to raise funds for vaccines and drugs against Covid-19 has so far raised over US$10 billion, amid expert speculations that several drug makers could simultaneously emerge winners in the race for developing the inoculations against the virus.
"Great result, reaching 1st milestone of Global Response pledging marathon led by EU Commission," Commission's President Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter on Tuesday.
According to EU the pledging campaign, which the United States earlier shunned, had raised US$8 billion from global leaders and other institutions on May 4, when it was launched.
The EU report came as expert speculations suggest several drug makers or research institutions could appear as winners simultaneously in the race at the end, instead of being one as some 100 vaccines are being studied in different phases across the world.
"More than one horse can win this race," a Bloomberg analysis read adding that some vaccines might be extremely effective but even a less-effective one might work well enough to provide herd immunity in a wider population.
Other vaccines might as well be more appropriate particularly for health care workers, having exposure on the job, and need protection as soon as possible.
"If we end up with two, three, or four vaccines, that is good, since we have seven billion people (across the globe)," said Harvard vaccine researcher Dan Barouch, who leads one of the vaccine studies at the leading US university.
According to global media reports US drug maker Moderna's experiment showed promising results in early human trials while the company last week announced that all 45 patients in its vaccine trial had developed antibodies against the coronavirus.
Moderna is amongst the top frontrunners in the race is set to move into the second phase of the clinical trials in the month of July despite some setbacks.
The Oxford University scientists said their trial indicated that a million doses of their experimental Covid-19 vaccine could be ready as early as September as it was spearheading the study jointly with pharma giant, AstraZeneca.
Oxford's professor of medicine Sir John Bell yesterday said "several hundred" Britons have now been given the experimental jab with hopes that "signals" about whether their vaccine worked could emerge by mid-June.
China made visible its strong presence in the race with its companies alone were now testing five vaccines, they developed alone, on human body while China's President Xi Jinping promised to share any successful vaccine globally.
Several experts viewed China's CanSino Biologics Inc as the strongest new contender in the global vaccine race.