Pfizer-BioNTech announced Tuesday that it might be ready to apply for FDA approval for its coronavirus vaccine by mid-October or the beginning of November, months earlier than previously expected.
The announcement follows news last week that the CDC told states to begin preparing for vaccine distribution by November 1 at the latest.
“It has an excellent profile and I consider this vaccine … near perfect, and which has a near perfect profile,” BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin said in the announcement.
Pfizer, which is German-based, could have 100 million doses of the vaccine available by the end of 2020. Production on the vaccine has already begun and the U.S. has a contract for 1.9 billion with the companies to purchase the vaccines if they are approved.
Billions of vaccines expected to be available in 2021
1.3 billion doses of the vaccine may be distributed in 2021, the Hill reported. Pfizer BioNTech are only one set of at least nine companies currently working on a vaccine.
After the CDC gave a November 1 possible date for vaccinations to start distribution, the companies made a joint pledge that they would not apply to the FDA for approval until a “robust” stage three clinical trial of the vaccine had been successfully completed.
All of the companies said they would “always make the safety and well-being of vaccinated individuals our top priority.”
Concerns were raised that President Donald Trump could be pressuring the drug companies to have a vaccine before the election.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has assured the public that only science, not politics, would govern the approval process for the vaccine.
Two-thirds say they won’t get vaccine
Skepticism on both sides of the political aisle has two-thirds of voters surveyed last week by USA Today saying they won’t get the virus as soon as it is available. This number is down from only one-third who said they wouldn’t get the virus a month ago.
After expressing initial distrust in a “Trump vaccine,” Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden said Monday on a visit to Pennsylvania that he would get the vaccine “tomorrow” if it became available.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday that people who refuse to take the vaccine “will affect the lives of others because if they don’t vaccinate, they will become the weak link that will allow this virus to replicate.” It is worth noting that his company will make more money if they can convince more people to take the vaccine.