Latest Updates on the Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Latest Updates on the Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine

Latest Updates on the Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine

Young people may have to wait until 2022 to receive a coronavirus vaccine, the chief scientist at the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

Chief executive Albert Bourla wrote in the letter that while the company projects it may have effectiveness data in October, there will not be sufficient safety data to satisfy criteria laid out by the Food and Drug Administration until late November. There are now no COVID-19 vaccines approved by US regulators, although a handful are in late-stage trials to prove they are safe and effective.

At the moment, Haydock said there are a handful of developers in final phase 3 studies: AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, and Novavax.

"So let me be clear, assuming positive data, Pfizer will apply for Emergency Authorisation Use in the United States soon after the safety milestone is achieved in the third week of November", the company's chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in an open letter.

"Right now, our model, our best case, predicts that we will have an answer by the end of October", Bourla previously said on the "Today" show.

"We are working at pace for the delivery of any potential COVID-19 vaccination programme as quickly as possible, but the scale of what is rolled out and when will depend on a safe, effective vaccine being available", he said.

Pfizer's vaccine requires two shots, taken 21 days apart. The U.S. Department of Defense and the CDC plan to start distribution of vaccines within 24 hours of regulatory authorization.

Without further data on how effective the vaccine is and how long immunity from it may last, it's also hard to know what impact any of the shots now in phase III trials will have on controlling the pandemic. That dims any lingering expectation that there could be a vaccine by Election Day, as President Trump has asserted.

Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University, told TPM in an interview last month that the vaccine would not singlehandedly end the pandemic. "That's wrong", Schaffner said. "People are going to be shocked that they'll be asked to wear the mask continually, even after it's distributed".

"I think most people agree that the people at highest risk of both transmission, getting the disease, and getting sick from it are healthcare workers, frontline workers, and then the elderly and the vulnerable, " she said, adding that a healthy, young person might have to wait until 2022 to get vaccinated because of the massive amounts of vaccine that will be needed to protect the first groups. The efficacy of any of the vaccine candidates in trials has yet to be determined.