“It will take a few more months to verify its effectiveness and safety,” AIFA President Giorgio Palù told the Sky TG24 news channel. “It could be administered after the summer.”
“Phase one (of the vaccine trial) has just been completed. Phase two and three mean tens of thousands of subjects will need to be vaccinated to verify the effectiveness and safety” of the vaccine, he explained.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza said the Italian state would put public money into ReiThera, which is based at Castel Romano on the outskirts of Rome.
“It is a correct and important decision,” Speranza said at a press conference on Wednesday. “We must emerge from this crisis stronger, to guarantee people's health today and tomorrow”.
Italy has vaccinated more people than any other EU member state so far, but the roll-out has been hit by delays to the supply of the Pfizer vaccine.
AstraZeneca has also said there will be fewer supplies of its vaccine available than expected.
Palù said that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) may approve the AstraZeneca vaccine by next Friday.
“After that, it needs the approval of the European Commission and then AIFA,” he explained.
Italy has also set up a consortium of research groups to study mutations in the virus, Palù said..
The research consortium aims to identify new variants and prepare for future pandemics, he said.