A group of pharma companies are reportedly planning to stand together against the release of any coronavirus vaccine till all safety protocols are complete. The firms may issue a joint pledge in the coming week that they would not send any COVID-19 vaccine to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for review without being satisfied with its potency and safety standards. It comes as the US President Donlad Trump is seen by many as pushing for a vaccine to be ready by October, ahead of the presidential election.
The move is expected to counter the political pressure being exerted on the FDA to release a vaccine as soon as possible. It was on Friday that the existence of such a joint pledge was first put into public domain by The Wall Street Journal. Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi are the manufacturers to have signed the letter, according to reports.
Even as many in the US have recently criticised FDA for making several controversial decisions under political pressure, Trump has accused the agency of slowing work to hurt him politically.
Meanwhile, a majority of US states recently rejected the new Trump administration's COVID-19 testing guidance in an extraordinary rebuke of the nation's top agency for disease prevention, according to officials at state health agencies and public statements reviewed by Reuters. At least 33 states continue to recommend testing people who have been exposed to COVID-19 and have no symptoms, spurning guidance published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week that said testing may be unnecessary. Sixteen states did not immediately respond to requests for comment and North Dakota said it had not made a decision.