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Vaccine scientist: 'Smart business practice' for companies to not seek premature FDA approval



Vaccine scientist Peter Hotez on Monday called a safety pledge by pharmaceutical companies for the development of a coronavirus vaccine “smart business.”

“They want this vaccine to work and they want people to trust their pharmaceutical company,” Hotez, the dean of Baylor College of Medicine’s National School of Tropical Medicine, told CNN.

“What they’re doing is a smart business practice to make certain they’re releasing a vaccine that’s both safe and effective, because they know that if there’s a mistake, and if things don’t go well, it could bring down the entire company,” he added.

“The fact that we’re seeing pharmaceutical companies sort of protecting the U.S. population from the government is something we’ve never seen before,” he said.

Hotez also cast doubt on the most optimistic projections of a vaccine being made available before the presidential election.

“I don’t see a single way by which we could have vaccines released to the public before the election,” he said. “We know from the phase one, phase two trials that you need at least two doses of these vaccines in order to induce an immune response that is likely to be protective … it’s going to take at least two months to fully immunize all of the human volunteers.”

In a joint statement last week, several companies working on coronavirus vaccines committed to ensuring their safety before making them widely available.

“We believe this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the Covid-19 vaccines that may ultimately be approved and adherence to the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which they are evaluated,” the draft statement says.



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