COVID-19 Vaccines: A Dose Of Caution From Merck
The global COVID-19 pandemic is prompting an unprecedented effort to develop a vaccine in record-breaking time. But there may be pitfalls in letting optimism run too far ahead of the realities of vaccine development.
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Merck wasn’t as quick to the COVID vaccine race as some others, but it believed that its use of ‘proven platforms’ would win out in the end. Not anymore.
At Senate hearing, FDA and NIH officials say government and vaccine developers are outlining production needs with ability to shift manufacturing from their candidates to others to ensure production of the most promising products. FDA Commissioner Hahn says as an essential worker he would break quarantine if needed at a critical White House or other meeting.
Pfizer said it is dosing patients now with an mRNA-based vaccine and expects human data in May/June, with a goal to have a vaccine available for emergency use possibly by October.