WASHINGTON — The United States will have a “better” vaccine than China — and it will have it sooner, former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb predicted Sunday.
Data on the potential vaccines in clinical development in China “didn’t look overwhelmingly strong,” Gottlieb told Margaret Brennan on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“Those vaccines, if they do work, probably are going to provide lower levels of immunity than the platforms that the U.S. and Europeans are working with,” he said.
“So I think we’re going to have a better vaccine, and I think we’re probably going to have it sooner based on where we are in clinical development, some of the early progress that we’ve shown.”
Asked which potential U.S. vaccines are “most promising at this point,” Gottlieb cited one by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, as well as another by Moderna Therapeutics and Lonza.
Moderna’s showed promise in its first round of human trials earlier this month, fueling executives’ hopes that it could be ready in 2020.
“There’s a number of manufacturers that are either equidistant to them or not far behind,” Gottlieb said. “All look promising based on public statements they made and some of the preliminary evidence that they put out.”
President Donald Trump is pushing for a vaccine by the end of the year. Public health experts caution that while a vaccine that soon is possible, it is far from guaranteed.
“I would say that’s probably more likely a 2021 event that we’re going to have the vaccine available in sufficient quantities to mass inoculate the population,” Gottlieb said earlier this month.
David Cohen contributed to this report.