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Johnson & Johnson seeks coronavirus vaccine by early 2021

US drug company aims to supply 1bn doses worldwide

An employee tests for the coronavirus at a medical laboratory in Cologne, Germany, on March 24.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- A vaccine for the new coronavirus should be ready for emergency use in early 2021, American drugmaker Johnson & Johnson announced Monday.

The pharmaceutical company has selected a lead candidate and two backups from 10 variants it has been working with since January. Clinical trials will begin in September at the latest.

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