Gottlieb: Large-scale vaccine likely a 2021 event

FILE – In this March 16, 2020 file photo, a patient receives a shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

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UPDATED 2:40 PM PT — Sunday, May 17, 2020

According to former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, wide distribution for a coronavirus vaccine will likely be a “2021 event.” He suggested there are a lot of uncertainties when it comes to scaling up the manufacturing of a vaccine.

Gottlieb noted the vaccine, which will likely be available next year, must first be stabilized and made sure it’s appropriate for use.

He explained from the time the H1N1 vaccine actually worked in small scale studies until full manufacturing took at least two months.

“There’s a lot of uncertainties as you go from vaccines that you’re manufacturing on a smaller scale, in an experimental fashion, and early stage studies when you try to scale up and get volume,” stated Gottlieb. “A lot of things can go wrong, a lot of things can be delayed.”

The former commissioner has said once a coronavirus vaccine is available, there could be as many as 200 million eligible people needing 400 million doses. He believes a vaccine will still become available in the fall for use on small populations on an experimental basis.

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