A Covid-19 vaccine will go into production while researchers are still studying if it works, under an ambitious plan by NIH’s Anthony S. Fauci to get a vaccine across the finish line in record time. The proposal to start ramping up production while the candidate is still in a clinical trial is a risky step for a manufacturer, which would have to start assembling raw materials to make a vaccine without knowing whether it would work.
But the plan would make sure a vaccine is ready for patients if Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, comes back next year, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in the National Institutes of Health, said Thursday at a White House press conference.
The vaccine candidate, which is being developed by scientists at Fauci’s institute, entered into a phase I clinical trial earlier this month, which means it’s being introduced into the human body for the first time to a small group of patients. It’s the larger phase II trials that demonstrate whether the potential vaccine is safe and works well enough to warrant Food and Drug Administration approval.