An experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca could be put before regulators this year if scientists are able to gather enough data, the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group said on Tuesday.
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“It is just possible that if the cases accrue rapidly in the clinical trials, that we could have that data before regulators this year, and then there would be a process that they go through in order to make a full assessment of the data,” Andrew Pollard told BBC Radio.
The Oxford vaccine showed early promise in the first human trial when it produced an immune response, underlining its position as one of the leading candidates in the race to produce a vaccine against a disease that has crippled the global economy.
The trial hit the headlines earlier this week when the Financial Times reported that the Trump administration was considering fast-tracking the vaccine for use in the United States ahead of the November 3 elections.
One option being explored would involve the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarding “emergency use authorization” in October to the potential vaccine, the FT said.
“The process of going through emergency use authorization in an emergency is well established, but it still involves having carefully conducted data... and evidence that it actually works,” Pollard said.