Upon saying that it will begin human testing on its coronavirus vaccine candidate, US-based company Johnson & Johnson’s share price saw a surge of 8 per cent.

The company also stated that the first batches of the COVID-19 vaccine could possibly be available for emergency use starting in early 2021.

“We have very good early indicators that not only can we depend on this to be a safe vaccine base but also one that will ultimately be effective based on all the early testing and modelling we’ve been doing,” Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky said in a televised interview with CNBC.

“This is a bit of a moonshot for J&J going forward, but it’s one we feel is very, very important for use to be doing at this period in time,” he added.

While according to industry specialists and experts, it could take up to a year to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, major pharma companies are rushing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine – the disease has killed over 34,000 people worldwide.