A German company working with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has begun human trials of a potential Covid-19 vaccine that could supply millions by the end of the year. Additionally, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warns of a second COVID-19 wave, despite president Donald Trump’s statement.
What We Know:
- Pfizer says it will begin testing the experimental vaccine in the United States as early as next week, and says a vaccine could be ready for emergency use in the fall, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
- Mainz-based BioNTech reported that the first cohort of participants had been given doses of the potential vaccine, BNT162, in a Phase 1/2 clinical study in Germany.
- “Twelve study participants have been vaccinated with the vaccine candidate BNT162 in Germany since the start of the study on April 23, 2020,” the company said in a statement.
- No information on the results is currently available. BioNTech said around 200 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55 years old would be given doses ranging from 1µg (microgram) to 100µg to find the optimal dose for further studies.
- “In addition, the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine will be investigated,” added the biotech company.
- Pfizer and BioNTech plan to initiate trials for BNT162 in the US on regulatory approval, expected shortly, the statement said. The German Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedical Drugs approved the trial — the country’s first clinical trial for a vaccine against Covid 19 — on April 22.
- On Wednesday during a Whitehouse briefing, Trump stated that the coronavirus may not come back at all.
- He discussed the return of COVID-19 after criticizing a report that said CDC Director Robert Redfield warned of a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak in the fall that could be worse because it could coincide with the opening of the flu season.
- “He’s talking about a worst-case scenario where you have a big flu and you have some (coronavirus). And if it does come back, it’s not going to come back … like it was. Also, we have much better containment now,” Trump said.
- Experts have assured the public the country will be better prepared to fight a second wave by developing therapeutics and stocking up with equipment, like ventilators.
- Fauci, a key member of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, reiterated this.
- “We will have coronavirus in the fall,” he said. “I am convinced of that because of the degree of transmissibility that it has, the global nature. What happens with that will depend on how we’re able to contain it when it occurs.”
The United States has seen more than 58,000 deaths from COVID-19, and 935,646 recoveries.