Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently told CNBC that he doesn’t expect a coronavirus vaccine to be available before the presidential election in November.

Instead, Gottlieb told CNBC that he sees a future in which the vaccine has some surface-level results that could warrant an emergency production authorization.

  • “I think it’s very unlikely. I think it’s more likely you’re going to get a top-line result some point in November and maybe be able to make a decision about an emergency use authorization after that.”
  • “If the vaccines are very effective at preventing COVID disease, probably 70% to 80% effective based on how the trials are powered, you could get a readout at some point in October, a sort of top-line readout. But it’s more likely that you’re going to get a readout from those trials in November.” 
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Stephen Hahn, the head of the Food and Drug Administration, told The Financial Times he would be willing to approve a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. He wouldn’t do it just to please President Donald Trump, though. He said he would authorize the vaccine after Phase Three trials are finished.

  • “It is up to the sponsor (vaccine developer) to apply for authorization or approval, and we make an adjudication of their application,” Hahn said. “If they do that before the end of Phase Three, we may find that appropriate. We may find that inappropriate, we will make a determination.”  
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Critics have called for an independent committee to review the vaccine to make sure it’s safe for all. Bioethicist Arthur Caplan told CNN that people might not trust the vaccine’s effectiveness but an independent council could help.

  • “We’re used to this world where if the FDA or the CDC or the NAS says something is safe and effective, that’s enough, but I don’t think this time that’s sufficient to overturn public skepticism. I think we desperately need an independent national commission.”