Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies … [+] during a US Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine Covid-19, focusing on an update on the federal response in Washington, DC, on September 23, 2020. (Photo by Graeme JENNINGS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by GRAEME JENNINGS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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With four vaccines against Covid-19 in the final stage of U.S. clinical trials and a fifth on its way, Dr. Anthony Fauci sees the potential for vaccines to hold promise in some patient populations better than others.
Fauci said late last week he remains optimistic about vaccines in their final stage of development and he believes Americans will begin to be vaccinated in November and December. And as vaccines are approved, researchers may find that one works better on one population than others.
“There may be different vaccines for different situations,” Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Dr. Howard Bauchner, editor of JAMA during an interview Friday afternoon.
Fauci made his comments a day after Maryland-based Novavax said it would begin phase 3 clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine in the United Kingdom. Fauci said the Novavax vaccine is expected to begin final stage clinical trials in the U. S. in October.
“We have the first four and one more, Novavax, is going into a phase 3 trial,”Fauci said. “We have a bunch of candidates going.”
The Novavax trial is the fifth supported by the U.S. government’s “Operation Warp Speed” effort designed to quickly bring vaccines against Covid-19 to market. Novavax, which has never brought a vaccine to market, was awarded a $1.6 billion grant to produce 100 million dosages of a coronavirus vaccine by early next year.
The four other vaccines against Covid-19 in final-stage U.S. clinical trials are being developed by Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, providing several options should one not be as effective as another.
“You might find when you do a clinical trial, that you maybe have three or four vaccines that are effective,” Fauci told JAMA’s Bauchner.
“But you may find one that does better in an older population than another,” Fauci added. “It could be that you would recommend, that if you are an older person you get this vaccine versus that. That is something we wish for namely that we have enough vaccines that you can tailor the better one for each individual group.”
Watch the entire video of JAMA’s interview with Fauci that included a detailed update on Covid-19 vaccine development: