Moderna’s chief executive said its COVID-19 vaccine is not expected to be available for widespread use until the spring.
Stéphane Bancel told the Financial Times during a pharmaceutical and biotechnology conference that the company would not be ready to apply for emergency use authorization for its potential vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration until Nov. 25 at the earliest, the newspaper reported Wednesday.
"November 25 is the time we will have enough safety data to be able to put into an EUA … file that we would send to the FDA — assuming that the safety data is good, i.e., a vaccine is deemed to be safe," Bancel said, according to the report.
Moderna, he said, would not be prepared to file for approval to distribute the vaccine to the general U.S. population until late January at the earliest. That means the company does not expect to have approval to distribute the vaccine widely until the spring, according to the Financial Times.
"I think a late [first-quarter], early [second-quarter] approval, is a reasonable timeline, based on what we know from our vaccine," Bancel said.
Moderna did not immediately respond to a request from The Washington Post for comment.
Three other vaccine candidates are in the final stages of testing in the United States, though one of them has been paused.
The Moderna chief's timeline contrasts with President Donald Trump's assurances of a speedy timeline for a coronavirus vaccine.
Trump was asked during Tuesday night's presidential debate about his contradicting top scientists who say a vaccine may not be available to the general public until halfway through next year. He responded, "They can go faster than that by a lot."