Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, PhD, laid out a timeline Oct. 16 for reaching key milestones in the drugmaker’s COVID-19 vaccine development.
“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,” Dr. Bourla said in an open letter.
Seven things to know about Pfizer’s vaccine development:
- Pfizer should start seeing data from large studies indicating whether the vaccine works by the end of October.
- Pfizer should have data on the vaccine’s safety by the third week of November.
- If the data shows the vaccine can work safely, Pfizer could seek approval from the FDA by the end of November.
- Earlier this month, Pfizer’s vaccine trial became the first in the U.S. to enroll children as young as 12.
- Dr. Bourla has pledged that Pfizer wouldn’t be pressured politically to speed up its COVID-19 vaccine development. Last month, Pfizer released its trial protocol to address concerns about a push by President Donald Trump for a vaccine before Election Day.
- The updated timeline is in line with previous estimations by Dr. Bourla on when the vaccine would be approved. Last month, he said there’s a “good chance” Pfizer will know if a vaccine works by the end of October. In July, he estimated the vaccine could be approved as early as December.
- Pfizer began its final-stage trial in July and in the same month signed a $1.95 billion deal with HHS and the U.S. Defense Department to secure up to 600 million doses of the vaccine.
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