Rival COVID vaccine developers issue joint pledge they will not seek government approval until immunizations proven ‘safe and effective’

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Nine drugmakers said Tuesday their chief executives signed a pledge promising to not file for regulatory approval or authorization of their experimental Covid-19 vaccines until the shots have shown to work safely through late-stage clinical testing.

The pledge was signed by the heads of AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKlineGSK, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax, Sanofi, BioNTech SE and Pfizer.

In it, the companies say “the safety and well-being of vaccinated individuals” would always be their top priority. They promise to keep following scientific and ethical standards in clinical trials testing the Covid-19 shots, and in manufacturing. They also pledge to ensure supply across the world.

The FDA has said it won’t green-light a Covid-19 vaccine unless it is proven to be 50% effective compared with a placebo.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is expected to be involved in distributing vaccines, notified states that they should be ready to launch Covid-19 vaccination campaigns by November. …

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That timeline, just before the Nov. 3 presidential election, raised concerns among some scientists and other experts that the Trump administration would rush a vaccine to bolster President Trump’s re-election prospects.

On Monday, President Trump said at a news conference that a vaccine “will be very safe and very effective, and it will be delivered very soon.” He said the country “could even have it during the month of October.”

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