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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

11 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID-19 hotspots have materialized across "the entire country"

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings/AFP via Getty Images

The United States is "seeing hotspots literally throughout the entire country," with a countrywide average of 70,000 COVID-19 cases per day, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Silicon Valley Leadership Group's annual forum Friday.

Driving the news: The U.S. hit another grim milestone on Friday, with the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassing 9 million as new infections surge across the country, per data from Johns Hopkins University.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Oct 30, 2020 - Health

The good and bad news about coronavirus antibody therapies

Illustration: Axios Visuals

Antibody treatments are showing promise as an important tool against the coronavirus, but there aren't going to be a lot of them at first and they could also come with hefty price tags.

Driving the news: Regeneron announced on Wednesday that its antibody cocktail reduced infected patients’ need to visit the doctor or go to the hospital by 57% — but there are only 50,000 doses available right now, Stat reports.

16 hours ago - World

Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of COVID-19 cases

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Photo: THIERRY ROGE/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Belgium is enforcing a strict lockdown starting Sunday amid rising coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and a surge of deaths, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Friday.

Why it matters: De Croo said the government saw no choice but to lock down "to ensure that our health care system does not collapse." Scientists and health officials said deaths have doubled every six days, per the Guardian.