Pfizer’s CEO says the company will know if the vaccine works by the end of October

Washington – Albert Borla, head of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, one of the companies that developed the coronovirus vaccine, said Sunday is a “good chance” the company will know if its vaccine works by the end of October.

In an interview with “Face the Nation”, Borla stated that it is not yet known whether Americans will be able to obtain the coronovirus vaccine before 2021, as the issuance of licenses depends on federal regulators. But Pfizer’s study indicated that “we have a good chance that we’ll know if the product works by the end of October.”

Nevertheless, Borla stated that Pfizer is preparing approval from the federal government and distribution of a vaccine before the end of the year.

He said, “We have already started manufacturing and we have already manufactured hundreds of thousands of doses, so we have a good study readout, adjudication and FDA, plus the advisory committee feels comfortable that we are ready Will be. ”

Pfizer, which has partnered with BioNtech on its coronavirus vaccine, has started enrolling 30,000 people in its phase three vaccine trial, but is looking to expand its enrollment to 44,000. Borla said that the decision to increase the number of participants was to expand to a more vulnerable population than it wished.

“We go to young people. Right now, the study is recruited from 18 to 85. Now we will be 16,” he said. “In addition, we will go into chronic conditions like people with special conditions, HIV patients, but at the same time we will try to use it to increase the diversity of the population.”

While Pfizer is one of several companies currently enrolling participants in its phase three vaccine trial, it is the only US-based pharmaceutical company to have declined federal dollars for its vaccine candidate.

Borla acknowledges that if its coronovirus vaccine fails, Pfizer will absorb the financial hit. But he said he decided not to accept government money for the development of vaccines to keep drug giants away from politics.

“I wanted to free my scientists from any bureaucracy,” he said. “When you get money from someone who always comes with the wire. They want to see how we’re going to progress, what kind of tricks are you going through. They want the report. I don’t want that Be any of them. ” Wanted them – basically I gave them an open checkbook so that they could only worry about scientific challenges, nothing else. And at the same time, I wanted to keep Pfizer away from politics. ”

However Borla stopped short of predicting when the US might be able to get the coronovirus vaccine, the former Commissioner of Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb and a member of Pfizer’s board of directors stressed that they do not believe a vaccine will be widespread. Available until 2021.

On “Face to the Nation” he said, “It is likely to be a very staged market entry.” “I think that’s what people should expect. But for most people, they won’t be able to access a vaccine until 2021. I think maybe the first quarter of 2021, maybe the first half of 2021. And assuming that these Vaccines have been demonstrated to be safe and effective in these large trials. ”

If any population in the US were to receive a coronovirus vaccine this year, Gottlieb predicted that it would be people who are at risk of becoming too ill from the virus or frontline workers who are at high risk of contracting it.

“What we’re going to do is target the vaccine to select groups of people who are at a very high risk of poor outcome from COVID to try to reduce their risk,” he said. “But it will not be used to achieve broadly based immunity, at least in 2020, perhaps in 2021.”