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(Reuters) - Senior sources in the British government expect that a verdict on whether Pfizer Inc-backed <PFE.N> COVID-19 vaccine works will be available before the results are in on AstraZeneca Plc's <AZN.L> competing vaccine, the Times reported.
Britain believes that the vaccine, which Pfizer is co-developing with Germany's BioNTech SE <22UAy.F>, could be ready to distribute before Christmas, the report said.
Pfizer's Chief Executive Albert Bourla has previously said the company could release data on whether or not the vaccine works as early as this month.
The U.S. drugmaker said this week if trials are successful the company expects to file for emergency authorization of the vaccine candidate from U.S. regulators shortly after it has enough safety data in late November.
Britain has agreed supply deals for six vaccine candidates including frontrunners from Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue)