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Here’s how the U.S. can end the coronavirus vaccine trials early

Dr. Anthony Fauci explains how the U.S. could end vaccine trials early and legitimately

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Adriana Sanchez, medical assistant and teacher’s assistant at Esperanza Elementary School, puts on protective gear before assisting at a COVID-19 test site at Esperanza Elementary School in West Valley City on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020.

Adriana Sanchez, medical assistant and teacher’s assistant at Esperanza Elementary School, puts on protective gear before assisting at a COVID-19 test site at Esperanza Elementary School in West Valley City on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a recent interview that a COVID-19 vaccine could become available sooner than expected if the ongoing trials show positive results in a significant way, CNN reports.

Fauci — who spoke with KHN for the interview — could see an independent board end the trials by the end of the year if results show overwhelmingly positive results.

  • “The data is so good right now that you can say it’s safe and effective,” Fauci said.
  • Researchers would have “a moral obligation” to end the trial early.
  • “If you are making a decision about the vaccine, you’d better be sure you have very good evidence that it is both safe and effective. I’m not concerned about political pressure.”

Fauci’s comments come as questions arise about whether the Food and Drug Administration will approve a COVID-19 vaccine before the trials over, something that was hinted at over the weekend.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently told CNBC it’s unlikely there will be a coronavirus vaccine before Election Day, which I wrote about for Deseret.com.

  • “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.”