Maine Submits Plan For Distributing Eventual COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Maine Submits Plan For Distributing Eventual COVID-19 Vaccine

Maine Submits Plan For Distributing Eventual COVID-19 Vaccine

President Trump has boosted the prospect of a pre-election vaccine as November 3 inches closer, saying that one would be ready by that "special day" and that a preventative COVID-19 shot would be available "within weeks".

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer says that the earliest it can request emergency authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine is the third week of November - and that's if everything goes well. In an open letter, Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla made the announcement about the progress in developing a coronavirus vaccine with its partner BioNTech, a biotechnology company that manufactures immunotherapies.

On Monday, Johnson & Johnson announced it had paused a large, late-stage clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine after one of its volunteers became ill with an unexplained sickness. "Safety is, and will remain, our number one priority, and we will continue monitoring and reporting safety data for all trial participants for two years", he said.

China has said that while reasonable profits for companies are permitted, Covid-19 vaccines should be priced close to cost.

Bourla noted the Food and Drug Administration is asking for two months of data on half of the participants in a vaccine trial following the final dose of a vaccine before it would grant Emergency Use Authorization in the US.

Bourla estimated that Pfizer's 44,000-person study would reach that milestone in the third week of November.

Pfizer's shares rose 2.4% in premarket trading, while BioNTech's U.S-listed shares were up 3.3% before the opening bell. It needs to be stored at sub-zero temperatures, creating logistical headaches in how to effectively ship and store doses so that millions of Americans can be inoculated.

The vaccine also must be proven safe.

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. "People are going to be shocked that they'll be asked to wear the mask continually, even after it's distributed".

While vaccines are a crucial tool against the virus, experts have warned they can't be a substitute for behavioral measures like masks and social distancing to curb transmission.

Then, in late September, more than 60 researchers and bioethicists urged Pfizer to wait until late November at earliest to file its vaccine for FDA review, arguing a submission before accruing at least two months of safety data would "severely erode public trust and set back efforts to achieve widespread vaccination". The efficacy of any of the vaccine candidates in trials has yet to be determined.