WASHINGTON D.C. — A COVID-19 vaccine is in the works. On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Health Committee questioned experts about how soon it might be here and how safe it would be.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said a COVID-19 vaccine will likely be here by the end of the year.
“We’re harmonizing the trials so information from one can be applicable to others,” Fauci said. “Currently, there are three candidate vaccine that have advanced to phase three trials.”
U.S. Senators, including Maine’s Susan Collins, questioned the process of rushing a vaccine.
“Every one of the decisions we have reached have been made by career FDA scientists based off science and data, not politics,” Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the National Food & Drug administration reassured.
Collins raised concerns whether the U.S. would be reliant on other countries for active ingredients.
“Active pharmaceutical ingredients for the American markets are manufactured overseas,” Collins explained in her questioning. “In fact, 72% of the facilities are located overseas.”
Hahn said that’s something they’ve considered.
“It remains a top priority for the Food and Drug Administration,” Hahn said. “Our role is to create whatever regulatory pathway so we can facilitate advanced manufacturing that is domestic.”
As for communication, Collins questioned whether all rules and guidelines put forth by health agencies needing to be approved by the health secretary would slow the relay of information.
She was assured by the assistant health secretary that would not be the case.