The US Food and Drug Administration has added extra time to a daylong meeting Thursday of its vaccine advisers, who are gathering to discuss a potential coronavirus vaccine.The meeting will now include at least an hour and a half for public input, according to an agenda posted online. The agency has been working to boost faith in the regulatory process after President Donald Trump pushed for a vaccine by Election Day, feeding fears that the federal government was cutting corners to rush a vaccine to market for political reasons.The meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will also stream live on YouTube — an unusual social media performance for an typically obscure gathering of experts on immunology, molecular biology, infectious diseases and biostatistics.
While vaccines can be controversial — thanks to an increasingly loud, if still small, vaccine skeptic movement — this particular group of vaccines is coming under enormous scrutiny.One or more of these vaccines are the best hope for rescuing humanity from the nearly year-long pandemic that’s infected more than 40 million people globally and killed more than 1.1 million of them. In the US, the count is 8.2 million cases and 220,000 deaths.
Study Finds AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine Follows Genetic Instructions
AstraZeneca’s AZN.L Oxford COVID-19 vaccine accurately follows the genetic instructions programmed into it by its developers to successfully provoke a strong immune response, according to a detailed analysis carried out by independent UK scientists. “The vaccine is doing everything we expected and that is only good news in our fight against the illness,” said David Matthews, an expert in virology from Bristol University, who led the research.
AstraZeneca, which is developing the vaccine with Oxford University researchers, is seen as a frontrunner in the race to produce a vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The first data from late-stage large-scale clinical trials being conducted in several countries around the world, including Brazil, the United States and Britain, are expected to be released before the end of the year.