THD News Desk, New Delhi: Moderna and Pfizer are two of the leading companies in the development of Coronavirus vaccine. On Thursday, owing to public pressure, they decided to disclose roadmaps of the procedure followed in evaluation of the vaccine. Had to abandon the conventional method of secrecy.
The details disclosed are as follows:
- How participants are being selected and monitored
- The conditions to stop the trials if and when a complication arises.
- Also, the evidence researchers will use to see the utility of the vaccine and its impact on the people.
Moderna’s study will take in 30,000 participants, and Pfizer’s 44,000.
It came as a surprise when the blueprints were disclosed openly by the companies,. Generally, this move is not undertaken until the completion of the trials. It came as a result of the growing suspicion among Americans who are seeing this venture as a strategy on part of President Donald Trump to bring a vaccine to the market before the upcoming Presidential elections on November 3. And hence it could be unsafe.
While Moderna’s plan gives an estimate till next year to know the durability of the vaccine, Pfizer’s plan could not give an estimate to know the timeline when the results could be made available. Moderna did not support any of the false hopes jibed by the President but it said there could be some possible outcomes before the end of the year.
Moderna, 135-page plan stated that they are yet to confirm when the first level of trials will happen. It could happen in December but could even extend to spring next year. That’s why there is not enough information to know if the vaccine works until some time.
Researcher, Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the senators that it’s not possible to have a vaccine in the market widely available till next year. Trump contradicted him, hours later saying a vaccine could be made available in just weeks time.
On Wednesday, Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, said in Wilmington, Delaware that the process through which the vaccines would be made readily available should be “totally transparent” for the public to place their support and confidence in it. He also added that people have started seriously doubting all the vaccine manufacturing companies due to the hastening of the process by Trump.
Researchers are requesting to see the blueprints the Companies are employing in the making of the vaccine so that outside evaluation could be provided.
Peter Doshi, faculty at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore and an editor with the BMJ, a medical journal said,
“I want to acknowledge a good deed done. They have opened up, for the first time, the ability for researchers not involved in the trial to form their own independent judgement about the design of this study.”
Till now these are the first two companies to disclose this level of detail. Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer which is collaborating with German company BioNtech are some of the top contenders in the production of COVID-19 vaccine.
AstraZeneca’s trails have been ceased due to a side effect implicated in one of the participants. Though it has been resumed in Britain and Brazil, the United States is yet to start it again.
Dr. Tal Zaks, chief medical officer for Moderna said,
“I am proud of doing that. I don’t think there’s much there that we’re disclosing that hasn’t already been spoken to, but let the public be the judge of that.”
Pfizer, however, said it took a step which it doesn’t usually and added,
“We recognize, however, that the Covid-19 pandemic is a unique circumstance and the need for transparency is clear.”
Moderna’s chief executive, Stephane Bancel, said the company would declare it publicly when and how the result of the interim analysis is effectual. On the other hand, Pfizer said it will declare the result publicly only if one of the two happens, either they have to stop the trial because of some intervention or the vaccine proves to be very effective in regard to the virus.
Moderna and the other companies have already released their stand on the condition if the vaccines are found to be effective. There won’t be enough vaccines to vaccinate 7 billion people by 2021.
“ In the first half of the next year, at least maybe until labour day, next year, I anticipate that the world is going to be massively supply-constrained, meaning not enough vaccine to vaccinate everybody.”