Jul 27, 2020 - Health

Fauci: Crunch time for coronavirus vaccine as late-stage trials begin

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies at a hearing in the Senate

National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci at a Senate hearing in June. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The first volunteer in a late-stage trial for a coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health received a shot in Savannah, Georgia, at 6:45 am on Monday, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Catch up quick: Fauci said President Trump was briefed Monday that 89 sites around the country will be enrolling individuals in the phase three trial.

What they're saying: "This is a phase three trial of which is determined to find out if in fact the vaccine works, in addition to getting information further on safety," Fauci said.

  • "The safety data thus far looks good. But now, it's crunch time. We're trying to figure out if it actually works."

Details: There are 30,000 volunteers in the trial, Fauci said, with half receiving the vaccine and the other half taking a placebo. Volunteers' ages range from 18 years old to 65 years old and over.

"To go from not even knowing what the virus was in early January to a phase three trial is really record time ... It was not done compromising safety, nor was it done compromising scientific integrity. It's just the technologies we have now and the ability to move very quickly have brought us to where we are right now, doing a phase three trial."
— Fauci's remarks on CNN
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