Pfizer CEO: We can't pursue COVID-19 vaccine approval until late November

University of Maryland School of Medicine the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore receives an injecti

And unlike vaccines against other diseases such as measles, experts believe Covid-19 vaccines, when they come, will fall far short of being 100 percent effective.

President Trump has boosted the prospect of a pre-election vaccine as November 3 inches closer, saying that one would be ready by that "special day" and that a preventative COVID-19 shot would be available "within weeks".

Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist, said there are 11 vaccines globally in late-stage testing and another 200 candidates under development.

Pfizer Inc said on Friday it could file for USA authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with German partner BioNTech in late November, suggesting it is possible a vaccine could be available in the United States this year.

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Bourla estimated Pfizer's 44,000-person study will reach that milestone in the third week of November.

The initiative has said its goal is to have 2 billion doses of safe vaccines to deliver by the end of 2021, a goal that could mean one dose for roughly a quarter of the world. Pfizer is partnering with the German company BioNTech on the research.

Bourla said Pfizer is "operating at the speed of science", but there are three steps that must happen before the company can release its COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the Washington Post, scientists have warned that early vaccines may be effective only half the time.

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The regulatory filing will conclude as soon as the safety data of the trial becomes available.

"The spread of the coronavirus appeared to be accelerating this week in the USA with a key indicator in 44 of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. flashing an "ominous" warning sign", a health official told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. And that information will be ready before the safety readout, he said. But the day a vaccine is approved will not be the day COVID-19 comes to an end. A vaccine could possibly be approved by the Food and Drug Administration as early as late November, but it would take at least several more months before the vaccine would be widely available. "Distribution will begin within 24 hours", President Trump said.

The coronavirus vaccine will be free for all Americans, but initially the COVID-19 vaccine will likely be available to higher-risk groups, such as health care workers, essential workers, the elderly, and those with health conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. A vaccine was the only route to herd immunity, he said.

With an unprecedented global demand for a vaccine, governments will have to work so that people most at risk get immunised first.

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