Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said Wednesday that his companyaccording to a report, the vaccine will not be ready for wide public distribution until spring next year. The drug manufacturer also will not seek emergency vaccine clearance for frontline health workers and other people at risk until November 25 at the earliest, he told the Financial Times.
Speaking at a health conference on Wednesday, Bancel said Moderna would not be ready to seek Food and Drug Administration approval for the vaccine for use in the general population until at least the end of January. If the vaccine proves safe and effective, approval is unlikely until late March or early April.
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A spokesperson for Moderna confirmed Bancel’s comment at the conference noting that the company expects to have enough data on vaccine tests to apply for emergency use clearance from the FDA by November 25.
The chronology is a setback for Moderna, he saidwhich could apply for emergency clearance for a vaccine as early as November 1. It also deals a heavy blow to President Donald Trump’s claims, which he repeated Tuesday in his debate with Joe Biden, that a vaccine could be ready within weeks, or before the November 3 presidential election.
“A vaccine is a few weeks away,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday night during the first presidential debate with Biden. Trump’s statement was in response to a question from moderator Chris Wallace as to why he disagrees with a prediction by the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that a vaccine will not be ready until the next. summer.
“I’ve talked to Pfizer, I’ve talked to all the people you need to talk to – Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and others. They can go a lot faster than that,” Trump said.
Moderna’s stock plunged $ 4 to just over $ 70 per share on news of its revised timeline. Moderna did not respond to a request for comment.
Seven potential coronavirus vaccines are now undergoing late stage testing, although more than 170 potential treatments are under development. According to Deutsche Bank analysts, about one-third of candidate vaccines typically pass all three stages of testing.