With the upcoming US presidential elections heating up the vaccine race, nine biopharma leaders on Tuesday signed a historic pledge to continue to make the safety and well-being of vaccinated individuals the top priority in the development of Covid-19 vaccines.
The CEOs of AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Johnson & Johnson, Merck (known as MSD outside the US and Canada), Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer and Sanofi have signed the pledge.
The announcement comes at a time when US President Donald Trump is pushing for quicker approval for treatments and vaccines to fight the pandemic.
Trump on Monday even hinted that the US could approve a vaccine for Covid-19 in October itself, ahead of the presidential elections in November.
The pledge by the nine biopharma leaders on Tuesday suggests that they would not seek premature approval for their Covid-19 vaccine.
They said that they will only submit for approval or emergency use authorisation after demonstrating safety and efficacy through a Phase 3 clinical study that is designed and conducted to meet requirements of expert regulatory authorities such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“We, the undersigned biopharmaceutical companies, want to make clear our on-going commitment to developing and testing potential vaccines for Covid-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles,” read the pledge.
They said that they will also work to ensure sufficient supply and range of vaccine options, including those suitable for global access.
“We believe this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which Covid-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved,” according to the pledge they took.
A new survey revealed that a majority of Americans are sceptical about getting a Covid-19 vaccine once it becomes available.
According to the CBS News poll, about 58 per cent said that they would consider it but wait to see what happens to others before getting one, down from 51 per cent in late July.