The US might have four COVID-19 vaccine candidates in a large-scale clinical trial by the middle of September (2020). Paul Mango, the health and human service deputy chief said on Friday that there will be 30,000 volunteers in phase 3 clinical trials, adding that "the two now underway are about halfway there."
Mango, who is also the agency's liaison with Operation Warp Seed, told USA Today, "We feel we are absolutely on track - if not a little bit ahead - in terms of our overall objective, which is tens of millions (of doses) of safe and effective vaccines approved for calendar year-end.
According to Mango, data on the vaccines show that they were causing volunteers' bodies to produce a significant amount of neutralising antibodies.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has also said the country is set to produce a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.
"We are delivering life-saving therapies and (we) will produce a vaccine before the end of this year or maybe even sooner. We will defeat the virus and the pandemic, and emerge stronger than ever before," Trump said while addressing the Republican National Convention at the White House.
Trump also informed that three vaccines are in their Phase-3 clinical trials.
"We have three different vaccines in the final trial stage. We are producing them in advance so that many doses are available. We'll have a safe and effective vaccine this year. Together, we will crush the virus," Trump said.
In a separate development, the UK is planning to amend its laws to allow for the emergency use of any effective COVID-19 vaccine before it is fully licensed. The UK government said it was adopting "reinforced safeguards" to allow the country's medicines regulatory agency to grant temporary authorisation of a COVID-19 vaccine, provided it meets safety and quality standards.
"If we develop effective vaccines, it's important we make them available to patients as quickly as possible, but only once strict safety standards have been met," Jonathan Van-Tam, Britain's deputy chief medical officer, said in a statement.