AstraZeneca Denies Fast-Tracking Vaccine for White House

Pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca says it has not had any discussions with any U.S. government officials about an emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine, Politico reports.

The company’s statement comes a day after the Financial Times reported the White House would consider how to grant an emergency use of the AstraZeneca vaccine if a late-stage clinical trial currently taking place in the U.K. and other countries has positive results.

“It would be premature to speculate on that possibility,” the pharmaceutical company said in a statement.

The vaccine was developed by the University of Oxford. Currently, 11,000 people in the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil are enrolled in a clinical trial scheduled to end later this year.

AstraZeneca is planning a similar trial in the U.S. it hopes will enroll 30,000 people, Politico reports.

In May, the company signed a $1.2 billion deal to provide the U.S. with 300 million initial doses of the shot.

News of a possible fast-tracked virus vaccine comes as President Donald Trump has accused the FDA of not acting quickly enough on approving possible treatments. At the same time, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is working to assure Americans it will not sacrifice safety or efficacy for speed, Politico reports.

“Data is driving the development of all COVID-19 countermeasures,” HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo said in a statement Monday. “Careless talk about career FDA experts somehow approving an unsafe and ineffective vaccine just for politics only undermines confidence in the public health system.”

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