A laboratory technician preparing a blood sample for a vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said Wednesday that his company's coronavirus vaccine won't be available for widespread distribution until at least spring 2021, according to Financial Times.

Why it matters: Bancel told FT that the drugmaker will not seek emergency authorization for FDA approval for its vaccine for front-line medical workers and at-risk individuals until Nov. 25 at the earliest.

  • He added the company would not seek FDA approval for use in the general population until late January.
  • If the vaccine is proven safe and effective, approval is unlikely to come until at least late March or early April.

What he's saying: "I think a late [first quarter], early [second quarter] approval is a reasonable timeline, based on what we know from our vaccine," Bancel said, according to FT.

The big picture: Moderna's vaccine is one of four that are currently in late-stage testing in people in the U.S.

  • The Trump administration in August announced it purchased 100 million doses of Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine for $1.5 billion, or $15 per dose.
  • The president has repeatedly claimed that a vaccine will be available for widespread distribution before the end of the year, though CDC director Robert Redfield testified to Congress that it's more likely that a vaccine won't be available until the second or third quarter of 2021.

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