Pfizer produces COVID-19 vaccine for ‘likely scenario’ of distribution before year end

*We should know if the vaccine is effective by end of October, says Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

As the leading drug manufacturer awaits the result of its late-stage clinical trial on the potential vaccine to be available by the end of October 2020, Albert Bourla, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pfizer, at the weekend said that “hundreds of thousands” of his company’s COVID-19 vaccine could be distributed before the end of the year Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finds it to be safe and effective.

The results of Pfizer’s late stage clinical trial on the potential vaccine should be available by the end of October, Bourla said during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Bourla stated that his company is “preparing” for a scenario where the vaccine would roll out before the end of the year.

He said: “I don’t know if they have to wait until 2021,” while responding to a question on when the public will be able to get a Coronavirus vaccine.

“Because as I said on our studies, we have a good chance that we will know if the product works by the end of October. Then it’s the regulator’s job to issue a licence or not,” Pfizer CEO said.

Pfizer, which is working with drug maker BioNTech, has invested $1.5 billion in the development of its vaccine candidate, which contains genetic material called messenger RNA (or mRNA).

Scientists hope the vaccine will prompt the immune system to fend off the virus.

According to Bourla, his company is preparing for the “likely scenario” that the vaccine will be deemed safe and effective by the FDA, and that Pfizer will be cleared to move forward with distribution before the end of the year.

He stressed that “I cannot say what FDA will do, but I think it’s a likely scenario and we are preparing for it.”

Other companies that are currently in late-stage testing for a vaccine include Moderna and AstraZeneca.

Bourla said Pfizer has already started manufacturing its vaccine.

The CEO added: “We have already manufactured hundreds of thousands of doses, so just in case we have a good study readout, conclusive and FDA, plus the advisory committee feels comfortable, that we will be ready.”

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