Latest Updates on the Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine

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Many manufacturers are making headway in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, with about 5 players in phase 3 trials.

Please note this interview was filmed prior to the announcement that the Johnson & Johnson trial was paused.

Many manufacturers are making headway in the race for a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine, with about 5 players in phase 3 trials, said Michael Haydock, senior director of content for cardiovascular and metabolic and infectious diseases at Informa Pharma Intelligence.

In an interview with Pharmacy Times, Haydock said the rate at which these companies have progressed through the vaccine development process is unprecedented. If a vaccine were to be approved by the end of the year, that would mark about 9 months since the process began, a sharp contrast to the average 11 years of development for typical vaccines.

At the moment, Haydock said there are a handful of developers in final phase 3 studies: AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, and Novavax. Although the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson trials have been paused, the trials have shown some signs that the vaccines are effective. Haydock said the absolute earliest approval could be in mid-November and would most likely be Pfizer’s vaccine.

“Probably the more important question is actually who will get the vaccine if it does come, because the one thing we can guarantee is that supply will be nowhere near enough to meet demand,” Haydock said. “So, if a vaccine does become available, it’s not that it’s just going to be rolled out across the US immediately. The initial supply will be quite limited.”

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