The US government will fund and conduct key studies on three experimental coronavirus vaccines – those developed by Moderna, Oxford University/AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed to CNN.
Phase three trials, which typically involve tens of thousands of people and measure whether a vaccine is safe and effective, will begin with Moderna in July, then Oxford/AstraZeneca in August and Johnson & Johnson in September.
The funding and trial timing were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
“The coronavirus vaccine effort is progressing very well and we expect more than one candidate vaccine to be in advanced clinical testing by early summer,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Sciutto. “This is good news for the overall coronavirus vaccine effort.”
Each phase three trial is expected to take place at more than 50 sites, mostly in the United States, but possibly in other countries, too. The trials, which are expected to include about 30,000 people, will begin only after there’s enough evidence of safety and efficacy from earlier trial stages.
The US government might also plan phase three trials for additional coronavirus vaccines currently in development.
According to the World Health Organization, there are 10 vaccines currently in human trials and 126 more in development.