Anthony Fauci, senior advisor to President Donald Trump, said the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine will be known by the end of November or early December.
While speaking on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, the top US infectious diseases expert said, “We will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, the beginning of December. The question is, once you have a safe and effective vaccine – or more than one – how can you get it to the people who need it as quickly as possible.”
Citing the surging coronavirus cases in the country, Fauci separately said it is a great idea for there to be a uniform mask mandate. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told CNN’s Erin Burnett that if people are not wearing masks, they may need to mandate it.
The comments come amid drug majors AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson announcing that they are resuming Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials that had been halted by U.S. regulators.
Both companies, the front runners in the race for vaccine to beat the pandemic, had temporally stopped their respective trials following certain setbacks and safety concerns.
AstraZeneca has received the go-ahead by the Food and Drug Administration to restart the coronavirus vaccine, AZD1222, trial in the US. The AstraZeneca Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trial has now resumed across the world with regulators in the US, UK, Brazil, South Africa and Japan confirming that it was safe to do so.
On September 6, AstraZeneca had voluntarily paused all global trials following a potentially unexplained illness in a U.K. volunteer. AstraZeneca later resumed the trail first in the UK.
Last week, a Brazilian volunteer, who participated in a clinical trial of AZD1222, died, but the trial is continuing as he had been given a placebo and not the trial Covid vaccine.
The potential vaccine, AZD1222, is being developed by the pharmaceutical giant in partnership with Oxford University, and its spin-out company, Vaccitech.
In a latest statement, Astrazeneca said the FDA reviewed all safety data from trials globally and concluded it was safe to resume the trial. Results from the late-stage trials are anticipated later this year.
Another vaccine developer Johnson & Johnson had paused the phase III study of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, JNJ-78436735 in early October, due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.
The drug major now expects to have initial results by the end of the year, and the first batches of its Covid-19 vaccine to be available for emergency use as soon as January.
As per reports, some 48 vaccines are undergoing human clinical trials.
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