A vaccine by November? Science journalist in Oxford vaccine trial casts doubt on – Health News Today

With 30,000 people taking part in the first major COVID-19 vaccine study in the United States, hopes are high that the collaboration between drugmaker Moderna and the National Institutes of Health will yield positive results as early as November. Researchers around the world are working on more than 165 vaccine candidates, though only a handful are conducting large-scale human trials. We speak with BBC science journalist Richard Fisher, who took part in the vaccine trial run by Oxford University that is among the most promising. “It was both a personal decision and a journalistic one,” Fisher says of his decision to volunteer. “I wanted to do something that helps the collective effort to get us closer to a vaccine.”

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: After months of denial, President Donald Trump made his second-ever public appearance wearing a mask in North Carolina Monday, where he said a coronavirus vaccine could be available by the end of the year. He made the comments while touring a Fujifilm plant that has been repurposed to make vaccines.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And we’re here, actually, today to discuss the exciting progress that we’ve achieved under the Operation Warp Speed, our historic initiative to develop, test, manufacture and deliver a vaccine in record time. And that’s what it is: in record time. Likewise, therapeutically, we are very, very advanced. You’re hearing about it, and you’ll be hearing about it a lot more in the next two weeks.

AMY GOODMAN: President Trump did not wear a mask during his news conference, and overnight he tweeted to his more than 80 million followers, “I know you people want to talk about a mask. Hello? You don’t need a mask.”

Well, the first major COVID-19 vaccine study launched in the U.S. Monday. In a collaboration between the drugmaker Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, 30,000 people will join a clinical trial this summer to determine the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. Top expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said results from the late-stage study could be available as early as November. The company Pfizer also launched a late-stage study Monday that will involve 30,000 people from the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Germany. This all comes as a vaccine being developed by Oxford University has triggered an immune response.

For more, we go to London, where we’re joined by a science journalist who participated in Oxford’s vaccine trial. Richard Fisher is a senior journalist for BBC Future. He wrote about his experience in a piece headlined “Coronavirus: What I learnt in Oxford’s vaccine trial.”

Richard Fisher, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about why you decided that you would be injected.

RICHARD FISHER: Hi there. Hi. Thanks for having me on.

So, for me, it was both a personal decision and a journalistic one. So, I wanted to do…

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