WASHINGTON: Research has said that the coronavirus vaccine could possibly be given to regulators this year.
The Oxford vaccine produced an immune response in its first human trials, underlining its position as one of the leading candidates in the race to combat a virus that has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and crippled the global economy.
“It is just possible that if the cases accrue rapidly in the clinical trials, that we could have that data before regulators this year,” Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group said.
“Then there would be a process that they go through in order to make a full assessment of the data.” The trials hit the headlines earlier this week when the Financial Times reported the Trump administration was considering fast-tracking the vaccine for use in the United States ahead of the 3rd November presidential election.
One option being explored would involve the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarding emergency use authorization in October to the potential vaccine, the newspaper said.
Pollard said the process for emergency use authorisation was well established. “However, it still involves having carefully conducted data and evidence that it actually works,” he said.
He said Oxford had enrolled about 20,000 people in trials across Britain, Brazil and South Africa, with AstraZeneca leading a U.S. trial of 30,000 people.