Johnson & Johnson To Start Final Phase Of Covid-19 Vaccine

Johnson & Johnson is set to begin the final stage of testing to determine whether the vaccine they are working on can combat the spread of the coronavirus.

As the Associated Press reports, the test will include human trials on 60,000 volunteers in the United States, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc., two other companies working on a vaccine, have also announced that they are moving into the final stages of their testing.

“Hopes are high that answers about at least one candidate being tested in the U.S. could come by year’s end, maybe sooner,” the Associated Press adds.

The need for the vaccine—to bring an end to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic—is important, but National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said these companies are not cutting any corners to adequately test it.

“We want to do everything we can without sacrificing safety or efficacy — we’re not going to do that — to make sure that we end up with vaccines that are going to save lives,” he said.

The Associated Press reports senior Trump administration officials, including the President and Vice President, have urged these vaccine producers to work with the FDA to get a vaccine to needing Americans:

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Trump on Wednesday tweeted the link to a news report about the Johnson & Johnson study and said the FDA “must move quickly!”

Meanwhile, testing of still another experimental vaccine, made by AstraZeneca, remains on hold in the U.S. as officials examine a safety question, even though studies have resumed in other countries.

Earlier this week, Vice President Mike Pence urged state governors to “do your part to build public confidence that it will be a safe and effective vaccine.”

And Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, added in the call to governors that he is confident in “a tried and true process” that has checks and balances built in, including an independent board evaluating the progress of each vaccine trial, as well as “the integrity of the FDA.”

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