As the stakes get higher, the US has said that it has 2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine "ready to go". President Donald Trump has said that the country already has 2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine ready to be rolled out if they check out for safety. "We had a meeting on vaccines yesterday. We are doing incredibly well. We can have some very positive surprises. Tremendous progress is being made on vaccines. In fact, we are ready to go in terms of transportation and logistics. We have over two million ready to go if it checks out for safety," he said during a news conference from the White House.
The US President said that the country is doing very well in the corona drug front as well. "Likewise, we are doing very well with therapeutics. Cures we are doing well," he added.
The US has also picked five companies that are ahead in the race to search for a coronavirus vaccine. The five companies -- Moderna, Oxford University-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Pfizer -- will receive assistance from the federal government to ensure that the process is sped up and the winner can be quickly manufactured.
Meanwhile, British pharma giant AstraZeneca said that it is "on track" to roll out around 2 billion doses of a coronavirus vaccine if the ongoing trials prove successful. The company is partnering up with University of Oxford for a COVID vaccine. "So far we're still on track... we are starting to manufacture this vaccine right now, and we have to have it ready to be used by the time we have the results. Our present assumption is that we will have the data by the end of the summer, by August, so in September we should know whether we have an effective vaccine or not," AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot told BBC radio.
The company has partnered up with Serum Institute of India -- one of the world's largest vaccine producers -- to produce 1 billion doses of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine and supply to middle and low-income countries, including India.
Moreover, Japan aims to put a COVID-19 vaccine into use by June 2021 as the country gears up to host the Tokyo Olympics. "We will be securing production facilities in parallel with expedited vaccine development," Japan's Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters. He outlined plans to use corona vaccines by the end of the first half of 2021. The Japanese government has earmarked $1.34 billion for vaccine production and distribution.
Additionally, India has pledged $15 million to coronavirus vaccine alliance GAVI at the Global Vaccine Summit hosted by the UK. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also contributed $750 million towards the manufacturing and distribution of the Oxford corona vaccine candidate with AstraZeneca.