At a health conference on Wednesday, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said the company’s coronavirus vaccine won’t be ready until spring of next year.
CBS News reports that Bancel added Moderna won’t seek emergency authorization for the vaccine to be used by healthcare workers and at-risk individuals until Nov. 25, at the earliest. The company won’t be ready until at least late January to seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the vaccine’s usage by the general public. Should the vaccine receive approval, it won’t be ready for public distribution until late March or early April.
A spokesperson for Moderna confirmed Bancel’s assessment and added that it expects to have enough testing data to seek emergency authorization by the Nov. 25 date Bancel provided.
This new timeline contradicts the one Moderna established earlier this month, where the biotech said it may seek emergency authorization by Nov. 1. Shares in Moderna slightly dipped as news of the revised timeline spread. Moderna is one of seven companies with potential vaccines undergoing late-stage testing, though there are currently over 170 potential treatments in various stages of development.
The new timeline also undermines President Trump’s repeated claims that a vaccine would be ready in a matter of weeks, potentially before the election. As recently as Tuesday’s presidential debate, Trump claimed “We’re weeks away from a vaccine,” when responding to a question about why he disagreed with an assessment by the head of the U.S. Centers of Disease Control that a vaccine won’t be ready until next summer.
“I’ve spoken to Pfizer, I’ve spoken to all of the people that you have to speak to — Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and others. They can go faster than that by a lot,” Trump said.
Clearly, that doesn’t seem to be the case. At this rate, considering how long it’s going to take for the vaccine to be approved, let alone distributed to the public, I might just get through my gaming backlog. It literally took the world falling apart for that to happen but dammit, it may just happen.
A study earlier this month found that Blacks and Latinos were underrepresented in tests for a potential vaccine. An organization of Black doctors have vowed to vet the safety of any potential vaccine due to the haphazard response by various agencies to the coronavirus pandemic.