Pharmaceutical companies say COVID-19 vaccine could be ready for approval in October; many unwilling to take 1st vaccine

Rockland County pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German laboratory BioNTech report that their vaccine could be ready for regulatory approval in October.

News 12 Staff

Sep 9, 2020, 9:31 PM

Updated 1,348 days ago

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Rockland County pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German laboratory BioNTech report that their vaccine could be ready for regulatory approval in October.
The companies say they are in the homestretch of having a vaccine, claimed to be effective and safe.
"It has an excellent profile. And I considered this vaccine as a vaccine, which is near perfect, which has a near perfect profile," says BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin.
Arthur Caplan, the founding head of NYU's Medical Ethics Division whose accolades includes a book titled "Vaccination Ethics and Policy," says he just rolls his eyes when he hears people say that they will have a vaccine by October. He says it isn't going to happen.
"We act as if the first will work, it's not clear it will. If we're lucky, we'll get one that shows promise early next year and then it has to be manufactured and distributed and most of these vaccines are two doses," he says.

There are currently 25 potential vaccines undergoing human trials worldwide, five of which are in phase three - including Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, which just paused its trials after a participant became ill.
As the typical 10-year process is fast-tracked to less than 10 months, there's growing concern surrounding the vaccine. To ease fears, nine drugmakers announced a historic pledge Tuesday to make safety the top priority.

Despite their declared commitment to ethics, a News 12 poll taken Wednesday shows 50% of viewers are still unwilling to take the first vaccine, and they're not alone.
Caplan says when the first vaccine is released, he wouldn't feel comfortable taking it.
"I'd wanna see how it faired in the first 10 million people," he says.
Not included on that joint pledge is Regeneron. The company is working on antibody approaches for treatment and prevention, not a vaccine, but tells News 12 it agrees with "upholding the integrity of the scientific and regulatory process, and always prioritize the safety of patients and clinical trial participants."
 


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