Pharma Giant Pfizer Begins Trials for Possible Vaccine

If all goes well, it could be ready in the fall
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2020 6:46 PM CDT
Another Vaccine Contender Is in the Mix, From Pfizer
A volunteer is injected with either an experimental COVID-19 vaccine or a comparison shot as part of a vaccine trial in the UK led by Oxford University. A different trial by Pfizer is just getting started in the US.   (University of Oxford via AP)

Human trials for another possible coronavirus vaccine have begun in the US, this time from Big Pharma giant Pfizer, reports Reuters. The company is partnering with a German firm, BioNTech, and if all goes well, the vaccine could be available for high-risk people in September, per the New York Times. As is now normal with COVID-19, researchers are speeding up the usual process, in this case by testing four versions of the vaccine at the same time, explains the Washington Post. Trials are taking place in Germany, too. This is the eighth potential vaccine to enter human trials, including another in the US that began in Seattle in March. Another of the eight, from researchers at Oxford University in the UK, also hopes to have shots available in the fall.

"The pandemic came upon us, fast and furious, and we didn’t have a lot of time to do years of research," says Pfizer exec Kathrin Jansen. "Because of the urgency and the crisis, we said, 'What can we do to shorten the development time for a vaccine?'" The Pfizer contender uses genetic material called messenger RNA to "trick" a person's immune system into rendering the coronavirus harmless, per the Post. In the US, the first stage will involve 360 healthy volunteers, but the trials will eventually have 8,000 participants at four locations: The Grossman School of Medicine in New York, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.