Former FDA Research Virologist Suggests “Accelerated Approvals” of Covid-19 Vaccines

(p. A15) Covid-19 is a genuine emergency. Drug and biotech companies and academic institutions are doing their part, and regulators need to, as well. Having been a research virologist who spent 15 years at the FDA as the agency’s “biotechnology czar,” I have some suggestions:

. . .

• The FDA should issue “accelerated approvals” after testing in only limited populations. Additional subgroups—children, pregnant women, etc.—can be tested after approval. The accelerated approvals should be granted before the duration of postvaccination immunity has been ascertained. More-comprehensive trials can then confirm safety, efficacy and the length of time that immunity lasts.

• Establish reciprocity of approvals between the FDA and trusted counterparts in certain foreign countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, the Scandinavian countries and the European Medicines Agency), so that if one of them approves a vaccine, it is automatically approved in the other countries.

For the full commentary, see:

Henry I. Miller. “A Covid Vaccine: Faster, Please.” The Wall Street Journal (Thursday, April 23, 2020): A15.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date April 22, 2020, and has the title “A Coronavirus Vaccine: Faster, Please.”)

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