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Moderna Updates Its Coronavirus Vaccine Timeline

Newser — Newser Editors

Moderna has updated the world on the timeline for its coronavirus vaccine, and as far as the general population is concerned, we're looking at spring. CBS News reports that on Wednesday, CEO Stephane Bancel said the soonest the company might seek emergency authorization for the vaccine, which would give front-line medical workers and high-risk people access, would be Nov. 25.

That's an update from its stance in early September, at which point it was gunning for Nov. 1. As for wider distribution, he believes the earliest the company will be ready to go to the FDA for approval would be late January, and that approval wouldn't come for at least two months.

"I think a late [first quarter], early [second quarter] approval is a reasonable timeline, based on what we know from our vaccine," Bancel said.

Bancel revealed the updated timeline while speaking at a the Financial Times' US Pharma and Biotech Conference, and the paper has this takeaway: "Cautious timeline deals blow to Trump's hope of authorizing immunization by start of November." The Nov. 25 date ties to the FDA guidelines, which state an application for emergency authorization can't be made until at least half of the trial participants have been screened a full two months.

For Moderna, that date came Sept. 25, when the 15,000th participant of its 30,000 participants got their final jab. As for how those participants are faring, CNBC spoke to a handful, including three in Moderna's trial.

They spoke of temporary but strong discomfort, including fever, shaking, chills, headaches and pain at the injection site.

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