Cork pharmaceutical companies among those working towards coronavirus vaccine

Pharmaceutical employees in Cork are among those working towards finding a vaccine for Covid-19. 

The Echo reports Novartis and Pfizer, both of whom have bases in Ringaskiddy, employ around 4,000 people. 

Novartis says it will donate 130 million anti-malaria tablets in the hope the drug could be used as a stepping stone towards finding a vaccine while Pfizer are working with German company BioNTech and are due to start clinical trials of an experimental vaccine next month.

An immunology expert believes it will take 12 to 18 months before a vaccine will be available - despite testing getting under way last week.

However, Professor Kingston Mills from Trinity College says it will only be available in that time if the vaccine is proven to work.

"If at the end of that it was working you'd start looking at vaccinating high risk people - healthcare workers, people with underlying healthcare conditions, and then eventually  the general population.

"That's what happened with the influenza pandemic of 2009."

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