Fauci: Most vulnerable people will likely receive first COVID-19 vaccine doses by the new year
October 29, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation’s top infectious disease experts, said Thursday that some of those Americans who are most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus will likely have access to the first doses of a safe vaccine in December or January, Reuters has reported.
Dr. Fauci, speaking on a Facebook and Twitter livestream with director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Francis Collins, said that those people who need the vaccine the most will likely receive the first doses of it “by the end of December or the beginning of January” assuming vaccine developers don’t experience any major delays.
The two leading participants in the race to develop a vaccine are the companies Pfizer and Moderna. Both companies have already been running clinical trials on humans for months, with the final stage having commenced back in July. Based on their estimates, Fauci said that it will likely be known “sometime in December whether or not we have a safe and effective vaccine.”
This comes as Moderna announced Thursday that it has already amassed $1.1 billion in deposits from multiple governments for a potential vaccine that it’s preparing to launch soon across the globe. It has been developing the vaccine with the assistance of the National Institutes of Health.
Additionally, Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks said on a Thursday earnings call that their trial is operating according to schedule and that an independent data-monitoring committee is expected to conduct an interim review in November, The Hill reports.
Pfizer, on the other hand, has experienced some delays. The company, according to Reuters, was originally expected to publish its interim data in October but is now doubtful that it can announce the data before the end of the month. Ultimately, that data might be released after the U.S. presidential election on November 3.
Assuming the trials yield a safe and effective vaccine, before the first doses can be distributed in the United States, both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have to review the data and then offer their suggestions regarding which individuals should receive the first doses.
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