The top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is a credible voice on the pandemic, says a coronavirus vaccine could be available earlier than expected if clinical trial results are overwhelming.
It is a hearty piece of news for people across the globe if claims by Dr. Anthony Fauci come true. People are anxiously waiting for a vaccine as a panacea for the pandemic.
Multiple vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are currently being evaluated in phase 3 trials to make sure that they are safe and effective.
Dr. Fauci is optimistic, albeit cautiously, that the US will discover whether there is a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this year or early 2021. He said that the Data & Safety Monitoring Board has the authority to stop any vaccine trial if interim results are overwhelmingly negative or positive.
However, according to him, the data says it is good right now, it’s safe and effective. “If you are deciding on the vaccine, you’d better be sure you have very good evidence that it is both safe and effective. I’m not concerned about political pressure,” said Fauci.
“All of that has to be transparent. The only time you get concerned is if there is any pressure to terminate the trial before you have enough data on safety and efficacy,” he added.
Worldwide, at least 851,321 people have now been killed by the pandemic ever since it broke out in China last December.
There are three COVID-19 vaccines in the US, which are in phase 3 trials. As announced by the US President Donald Trump, the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate known as AZD1222 has entered the phase 3 clinical trials. The researchers will rope in as many as 30,000 adult volunteers at 80 sites in the US to determine if the AZD1222 vaccine can prevent symptomatic COVID-19 disease. At present this vaccine candidate is undergoing large-scale clinical trials in several countries including the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Named as Covishield in India, Oxford’s vaccine is also being tested in India. The Serum Institute of India (SII) has collaborated with AstraZeneca to manufacture billion of vaccine doses for India and other low-income countries.