Pfizer CEO 'preparing' for likelihood of vaccine approval before end of year

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is preparing for the likelihood of regulators approving the coronavirus vaccine the company is producing before the end of the year, CEO Albert Bourla said Sunday. 

“I don't know if they have to wait until 2021,” Bourla said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” when asked about when the public will be able to get a coronavirus vaccine. 

“Because as I said, our studies, we have a good chance that we will know if the product works by the end of October. Then it’s the regulator's job to issue a license or not,” Bourla added. 

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Asked if he thinks Pfizer could get the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the vaccine as safe and distribute it to Americans in that timeline, Bourla said he’s not sure but it’s a “likely scenario” the company is preparing for. 

“I can not say what FDA will do, but I think it's a likely scenario and we are preparing for it,” he said. “For example we started already manufacturing and have manufactured hundreds of thousands of doses, so just in case we have a good study read out, conclusive, and FDA plus the advisory committee feels comfortable that we will be ready.”

Bourla also said he thinks governments of different countries will collaborate with drug companies on distributing a vaccine. 

“The how [to distribute] I think is going to be very difficult for the government to do it, likely they will collaborate with us,” he said. “Shipping medicine, it is complex, and particularly when you want special storage conditions, but we know how to do it very well. I think it's going to be a collaboration between the government of its country and us.”