Oct 16, 2020 - Health

Vaccine timeline "to ensure public trust"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Pfizer says people might start getting COVID-19 vaccines before the end of the year, according to a timeline it laid out Friday.

The state of play: By the end of October, the company said it hopes to know whether the vaccine is effective, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • By the 3rd week of November, it hopes to know whether it's safe for distribution.
  • By late November, the company could request an emergency use authorization.

The big picture: This reduces the odds of a vaccine being approved before the election, but also works to reduce concerns about vaccines being approved for political reasons.

  • “To ensure public trust and clear up a great deal of confusion, I believe it is essential for the public to understand our estimated timelines,” CEO Mr. Albert Bourla said today.

The bottom line: "The vaccine candidate from Pfizer and BioNTech is among the most advanced in development, along with candidates from AstraZeneca PLC, Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson," the Journal notes.

  • "Yet trials for AstraZeneca and J&J’s vaccines are on hold, at least in the U.S., as safety issues are probed."
  • "The studies’ pauses, combined with the timeline laid out by Pfizer, suggest the company’s shot could be one of the first, if not the first, to be sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for review."

Go deeper:

  • Operation Warp Speed's Moncef Slaoui on the new vaccine timeline. Listen here.
  • Trump administration announces deal with CVS, Walgreens to give COVID-19 vaccine to seniors.
Go deeper