COVID-19 study aims to vaccinate over 10,000 adults and children

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 333,000 people worldwide.

Over 5.1 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 1.5 million diagnosed cases and at least 94,729 deaths.

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Today’s biggest developments:

Researchers aim to vaccinate over 10,000 adults and children across UK Italy sees spike in daily coronavirus deaths after drop-off Russia reports record high of new deaths India reports largest single-day jump in new cases Chechen leader reportedly hospitalized with suspected COVID-19

Here’s how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.

8:28 a.m.: Italians told not to expect a vaccine this year
The head of the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA), the national authority responsible for drug regulation in Italy, said Friday that a vaccine for the novel coronavirus won’t be ready until next year.

AIFA director-general Nicola Magrini told reporters that studies of five or six vaccines are showing promise but “the reasonable time to think about a vaccine is next spring, next summer.”

“I don’t think there will be any vaccine for September available,” Magrini said. “Let’s hope they are developed by next year and let’s hope there’s more than one, and the production capacities are adequate.”

Magrini’s comments echoed those of Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccines at the European Medicines Agency, who said last week that having a vaccine ready by the start of 2021 would be “optimistic” since the development of the drug “has to start from scratch.”