President Donald Trump is reportedly fast-tracking a coronavirus vaccine that could be ready before the November election. A Sunday report by the Financial Times stated the Trump administration could bypass normal safety and inspection protocols in order to get the medicine from the United Kingdom to the United States in a matter of months.
To speed up availability, one option reportedly being explored could involve the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issuing an “emergency use authorization” (EUA) in October for a mixture being created through a partnership between drugmaker AstraZeneca and Oxford University. This particular formula has had some reported success protecting against COVID-19, but that success is based on the results from a relatively small study.
The Trump administration would reportedly look past the fact that a current study has just 10,000 participants, even though the United States typically requires at least 30,000 people to meet approval guidelines. There is a trial that will have 30,000 participants, but it won’t be carried out until the smaller test is completed.
The Financial Times reported that if a vaccine is available by November, Trump aides believe he could claim he has turned the tide on the virus. As of Sunday, COVID-19 has killed more than 170,000 Americans.
The number of dead and infected is said to have birthed widespread criticism of Trump’s handling of the pandemic. That criticism came most recently from Trump’s political rival in the presidential race, Joe Biden. In his convention speech earlier this week, Biden said Trump’s U.S. response to the virus was the “worst performance of any nation.”
The publication did point out that if Trump orders authorization ahead of schedule, it could undercut the American public’s confidence in such a drug.
Despite concerns about undercutting confidence in the president ahead of the mass inoculation program, the AstraZeneca formula isn’t the first to be on track for speedy approval. As The Inquisitr reported earlier this summer, there are at least two other vaccines that are alleged to have been given the “fast track” status already.
The news of the president’s possible plan to get a vaccine approved ahead of the election came on the same day Trump was set to announce a new treatment for those who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The “major therapeutic breakthrough” uses plasma taken from those who had the disease but have since recovered. The plasma is thought to have antibodies capable of helping sick people recover faster. The treatment has yet to be proven safe or effective.