More than 107,000 Americans have volunteered to participate in clinical trials for potential coronavirus vaccines as of last week, according to a USA Today report.
While the number is still shy of the needed 120,000, or 30,000 for each of the four drugmakers launching phase three trials, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci to throw out first pitch for Washington Nationals home openerThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Former HHS Secretary Sebelius gives Trump administration a D in handling pandemic; Oxford, AstraZeneca report positive dual immunity results from early vaccine trial Coronavirus Report: The Hill’s Steve Clemons interviews Kathleen SebeliusMORE, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the quick sign-ups are a positive sign, according to the newspaper.
Thats why were optimistic that were going to be able to get the trials enrolled in an expeditious way. I think we can do what we need to do, Fauci said.
I would say its very encouraging at this stage to have 107,000 volunteers, Barry Bloom, a professor of public health at Harvards Chan School of Public Health, told the newspaper.
To accelerate the trial process, the National Institutes of Health earlier this month launched the COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network, combining four pre-existing trial networks that have been used as far back as the AIDS crisis.
It would take literally years to build up a network that Ive build up over the last 30 years. So why do it? Were going to use what we have, Fauci said.
“Each vaccine needs to be tested on about 30,000 volunteers,” NIH Director Francis Collins said in June. “We don’t believe that we have enough power in the analysis to be able to document the vaccine works unless you get to roughly that number.”
The Food and Drug Administration is prioritizing the demographics that have been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic for testing, including minorities, the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions, but the trials will adhere to the same strict safety standards as other vaccines.
The guidelines for these trials are really clear. They will be scientifically rigorous and there are no shortcuts, Bloom told USA Today.