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Pfizer May Have Emergency Use Vaccine by September

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(Piotr Trojanowski/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 April 2020 10:02 PM

The global race to find a coronavirus vaccine is moving quickly.

Pfizer CEO Alberta Bourla on Tuesday told The Wall Street Journal the company's COVID-19 vaccine could be ready for emergency distribution by this fall, and Oxford University's Jenner Institute is preparing for mass clinical trials after tests showed their vaccine to be effective in rhesus macaque monkeys.

Johnson & Johnson earlier this month said it expected to start human testing of a coronavirus candidate as soon as September.

Vaccine development is a long, complex process and often lasts 10-15 years.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (N.I.A.I.D.), in March said a vaccine "that you make and start testing in a year is not a vaccine that's deployable."

The earliest it would be deployable, he added, is "in a year to a year and a half, no matter how fast you go."

But research into a coronavirus vaccine has developed quickly because of rapid discoveries about the virus and vaccine-making technology, according to Walter Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta, told the Journal.

"I'm not aware of any vaccine that's been developed after only a year to a year-and-a-half after identifying a pathogen," Orenstein told the Journal. "It usually takes years. People are moving very, very quickly with this."

The Jenner Institute, one of the largest academic centers dedicated to nonprofit vaccine research, could start distributing the vaccine for emergency use by early September if clinical trials go smoothly.

"It is a very, very fast clinical program," Emilio Emini, a director of the vaccine program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, told The New York Times.

Meanwhile, the world's largest vaccine maker, the Serum Institute of India, said it would not wait for the trial to end and already was making 40 million doses to save time in case it worked.

Pfizer has already started trials in Germany, and approval for U.S. testing is "expected shortly."

The pharmaceutical giant could start distributing a vaccine on an emergency basis in the fall as well.

"This is a crisis right now, and a solution is desperately needed by all," Bourla said.

The coronavirus, believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, has infected more than 3 million people worldwide and killed more than 216,000.

Its spread has left businesses around the world counting the costs and economic growth tumbling. But a vaccine would drastically.

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Pfizer's COVID-19 trial vaccine could be ready for emergency distribution by this fall, according to CEO Alberta Bourla to The Wall Street Journal.
pfizer, big pharma, emergency, fda, approval, clinical trial
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2020-02-28
Tuesday, 28 April 2020 10:02 PM
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