Pharmaceutical Companies Sign Joint Pledge Promising a Safe Coronavirus Vaccine as Public Confidence Dips

Nine pharmaceutical companies signed a joint pledge Tuesday promising to prioritize safety and science regarding the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

The pledge is meant to counter declining public confidence in an eventual vaccine, Politico reported. An August CNN poll found that just over half of Americans would be willing to take a vaccine once developed, and a recent Politico poll found that over 60% of voters opposed the release of any vaccine that had not undergone full testing.

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Third Virus Vaccine Reaches Major Hurdle: Final U.S. Testing

A handful of the dozens of experimental COVID-19 vaccines in human testing have reached the last and biggest hurdle — looking for the needed proof that they really work as a U.S. advisory panel suggested Tuesday a way to ration the first limited doses once a vaccine wins approval.

AstraZeneca announced Monday its vaccine candidate has entered the final testing stage in the U.S. The Cambridge, England-based company said the study will involve up to 30,000 adults from various racial, ethnic and geographic groups.

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U.S. COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Birx: Minnesotans Haven’t Done Enough to Decrease Spread

U.S. Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx stated in a visit to Minnesota on Sunday that Minnesotans haven’t done enough to decrease the spread of COVID-19. The visit is part of a cross-country tour to gauge how well states are adhering to coronavirus guidelines.
Birx commended the measures instituted by the state. However, she said that Minnesotans needed to do more – especially in rural areas.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Mandated in Virginia, State Health Commissioner Says

Virginia State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver said on Friday that he would mandate a COVID-19 vaccine if publicly available, according to 8News, but a bill under consideration in the Virginia General Assembly would provide a religious exemption.

Under Virginia state law, the commissioner of health has the authority to mandate immediate immunizations during a public health crisis like COVID-19 if a vaccine is available to the public.

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U.S. Will Pay $1.95 Billion for 100 Million Doses of Coronavirus Vaccine Doses

The federal government pledged $1.95 billion for an order of up to 600 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine, which is set to enter key large-scale trials in the coming weeks. The average cost of a dose based on this deal is $3.25.

American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German partner BioNTech announced the deal in a press release Wednesday. The companies are on track to produce 100 million doses by the end of the year and potentially 1.3 billion doses by 2022.

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Millions of Potential Coronavirus Vaccine Doses Already Being Made, NIH Director Says

Millions of coronavirus vaccine doses are being manufactured, even before testing has been completed, the National Institutes of Health director said in an interview recently.

Doses of potential vaccines are being made to shorten the time it traditionally takes to develop a drug for public use, director Dr. Francis Collins told Intelligencer. Collins said he is “guardedly optimistic” that at least one vaccine will pass through the large phase of trials by December.

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