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Plans Out

Both Moderna and Pfizer have released their coronavirus vaccine trial protocols, breaking with a tradition of secrecy, the New York Times reports.

The Times notes that drugmakers typically do not release their trial protocols for competitive reasons, but they are now doing so to assure the public that their vaccines are being evaluated properly. It adds that the push to have a vaccine quickly has raised concerns.

Tal Zaks, chief medical officer for Moderna, tells the Times that the firm consulted an outside ethicist who told them the way to gain the public's trust was to be "transparent to the point of discomfort."

In their protocols, the firms outline the number of individuals they plan to include in their trials as well as when initial analyses of their data will take place, how they will determine their vaccine's efficacy, and how long they will monitor participants, according to the Times. Moderna's protocol estimates that it likely won't be able to determine if its vaccine works until 2021; Pfizer's protocol did not attach a timeframe, the Times writes, noting that the firm has said it hopes to have an answer as early as October.