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Pfizer CEO says company’s COVID-19 vaccine will be available this year if FDA approves the candidate by October

Published on 14/09/20 at 11:57am
Photo by Lauri Silvennoinen

Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, has said that the company’s vaccine for COVID-19 could be used by the general public before the end of the year if the FDA approves it by the end of October. 

Speaking to “Face the Nation” on CBS, Bourla said the company will be ready to manufacture hundreds of thousands of doses in preparation for release this year, and said: “I cannot say what the FDA will do, but I think it's [approval] a likely scenario and we are preparing for it.”

Pfizer is currently developing its vaccine candidate with BioNTech and is moving towards a Phase 3 trial, aiming to enroll 30,000 participants by next week and 44,000 overall. Pfizer has also not joined the US Government’s Operation Warp Speed, which is giving funding and logistical support to multiple pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines. 

Bourla said this has been to free the company’s development team from bureaucracy and not owe favours to the government of any one country. The CEO said he wanted to “keep Pfizer out of politics” so the team developing the vaccine can “worry only about scientific challenges.” 

Last week, Pfizer and BioNTech announced preliminary preclinical data from tests in mouse and macaque monkey models. These animals showed a strong immune response which has given the companies hope the vaccine can be effective in humans.

Conor Kavanagh

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