In a call with reporters, Francis Collins said he thinks testing a vaccine in at least 10,000 people could potentially give enough evidence of safety and efficacy to clear it for wider use. US late-stage vaccine trials launched so far aim to recruit up to 30,000 people.
“I would not expect to see, on the basis of what we know scientifically, that we would be at the point where the FDA could make such a judgment until considerably later than October 1st,” Collins said, referring to the US Food and Drug Administration. “Maybe November or December would be my best bet.”
He added that he is confident that at least one of the six vaccines funded by the initiative will be shown to be safe and effective by the end of the year.
President Donald Trump said last week it was possible the United States would have a coronavirus vaccine before the Nov. 3 election, a more optimistic forecast on timing than anything suggested by his own White House health experts.