DR. FAUCI DISCUSSES COVID-19 VACCINE TRIALS: Dr. Anthony Fauci of NIH sits down for a virtual conversation with The Washington Post to discuss the challenges of combating the COVID-19 pandemic. While speaking to CBS News yesterday, Dr. Fauci said he believes ‘help is on the way’ in terms of accessible vaccines. Just this morning, the University of Oxford announced the results of their preliminary vaccine trials in partnership with drugmaker AstraZeneca. The large-scale trials saw a 70.4% rate of effectiveness. AstraZeneca will be seeking emergency authorization in Europe and Brazil. It has become the third major vaccine contender just this month to announce positive early results. Though seemingly less effective than vaccine trials by Moderna and Pfizer, both of which reported over 90% effectiveness, AstraZeneca’s vaccine would require far simpler storage than the other two.
These early results are providing some hope that multiple vaccine candidates could become globally available. Nine other major drug manufacturers are in the midst of Phase 3 vaccine trials, and more than 50 other trials are in the earlier stages of testing. Dr. Fauci recently told The New York Times, ‘I had been saying I would be satisfied with a 75 percent effective vaccine. Aspirationally, you would like to see 90, 95 percent, but I wasn’t expecting it. I thought we’d be good, but 94.5 percent is very impressive.’ More than 12.2 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and at least 256,837 have died. Though the United States only accounts for about 4.2% of the global population, it is home to roughly 21% of all infections.
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