COVID-19 Vaccines: Lost Placebo Control Could Mean Lost Approval, US FDA Officials Say
Getting an EUA is not a reason to vaccinate all placebo patients, US FDA officials write in NEJM article.
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Despite initial concerns among FDA staff and its advisory committee about unblinding the Comirnaty pivotal trial after emergency authorization, agency’s review of the first COVID vaccine to receive full licensure suggests its safety conclusions were not adversely affected.
Although US FDA wants sponsors to maintain blinded Phase III follow-up as long as possible after emergency use authorization or licensure, vaccine researcher Larry Corey says it will become ‘untenable’ to keep individuals in placebo arm once they qualify for vaccine access under the allocation framework.
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices work group also says previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 should not exclude someone from receiving vaccine if they are in one of the early groups recommended for prioritization; ACIP group unveils updated ethical principles intended to guide vaccine allocation decisions.