The Trump Administration is exploring accelerating the availability of a coronavirus vaccine so that it is available before the November election, the Financial Times reports.
According to FT, the Trump Administration is considering having the Food and Drug Administration issue an Emergency Use Authorization in October for a candidate vaccine that is under development by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. The prospective vaccine is currently being investigated in 10,000 volunteers, but FT notes that US government scientists have said data from a trial of at least 30,000 people would be needed to weigh approval.
Michael Caputo, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, tells the Financial Times that the claim that an EUA might be issued early is not true and that the administration is expecting a vaccine by the first quarter of 2021. President Donald Trump tweeted over the weekend, though, that FDA was deliberately slowing down drug and vaccine development until after the election.
In a separate Reuters article, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, notes there are risks to rushing a vaccine. "To me, it's absolutely paramount that you definitively show that a vaccine is safe and effective, both," Fauci tells Reuters. "We would hope that nothing interferes with the full demonstration that a vaccine is safe and effective."