Albert Bourla, the head of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which is among the companies developing a coronavirus vaccine, said that there is a “good chance” the company will know whether its vaccine works by the end of October.
In an interview with CBS’ Face the Nation, Bourla said it’s not yet known whether Americans will be able to receive a coronavirus vaccine before 2021, as issuance of a license depends on federal regulators. But studies from Pfizer indicate “we have a good chance that we will know if the product works by the end of October.”
Pfizer, which has partnered with BioNtech on its coronavirus vaccine, has begun enrolling 30,000 people in its phase 3 vaccine trial but is looking to expand its enrollment to 44,000.
“We go to younger people. Right now, the study recruits from 18 to 85. Now we will go to 16 years old,” he was quoted as saying by the publication. “Also, we will go to people with special conditions, chronic conditions like HIV patients, but also we will try to use it to increase the diversity of the population.”
Even though there’s no guarantee that its Phase 3 study will be successful, according to Bourla, who said it’s a “likely scenario” that the US Food and Drug Administration will approve the shot by the end of 2020.
“We have already manufactured hundreds of thousands of doses, so just in case we have a good study readout, conclusive, and FDA plus the advisory committee feels comfortable, that we will be ready,” Bourla told apparently referring to the FDA’s vaccine panel.
Bourla further acknowledged that if its coronavirus vaccine fails, Pfizer will absorb the financial hit. But he said he decided not to accept government funding for vaccine development to shield the pharmaceutical giant from politics.
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