ROME (Reuters) - The first shots of British drug maker AstraZeneca's potential COVID-19 vaccine could be on the market by the end of 2020, Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Wednesday.
"We are talking about a potential vaccine so we need to be extremely prudent, but... if the vaccine is confirmed as safe and able to meet its objective it will be already available by the end of 2020," Speranza told parliament.
Drugmakers are racing to combat the pandemic, which has killed more than 850,000 people and infected over 25 million.
The European Commission has paid 336 million euros ($397.82 million) to AstraZeneca to secure at least 300 million doses of its potential vaccine for EU nations.
(Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer)