14:54 GMT16 July 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The world has recorded 3,603,217 COVID-19 cases and 252,102 lives have been lost to the virus, according to the John Hopkins University. Testing for possible vaccines to combat the virus is now underway across the globe.

    Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech have begun human clinical trials in the United States, as part of a global development programme to develop a BNT162 vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

    The programme includes four vaccine candidates, each representing a different combination of the mRNA format and the target antigen. The study is designed to determine the safety, immunogenicity and optimal dose level of the four mRNA vaccine candidates.

    If the programme is successful, the two companies will scale up production for global supply. The programme would allow production of millions of vaccine doses in 2020, increasing to hundreds of millions in 2021, the companies said.

    Meanwhile, European countries have pledged to raise £6.6 billion in a bid to accelerate the process of finding a coronavirus vaccine. while the UN has emphasized the importance of mass distribution of any eventual effective vaccine in order to halt the spread of the pandemic.

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    lockdown, vaccine, COVID-19, US
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