Vaccine maker Moderna could possibly finish enrolling their 30,000-person study next week and could have its first data analysis next month, according to company spokesperson Ray Jordan.
The projections are yet another indication that a vaccine will not be on the market by Election Day.
Moderna was the first company to begin its Phase 3 clinical trial, injecting its first study subject on July 27. Half of the study participants are receiving the vaccine and half are receiving a placebo, which is a shot of saline that does nothing. Participants receive two shots spaced 28 days apart.
The company will have its first data analysis when 53 study subjects become ill with Covid-19. At that point, a monitoring board will look at whether those study subjects received the vaccine or the placebo, and then assess if the vaccine prevented Covid-19.
“We’re still anticipating the 53 cases to potentially emerge sometime in November,” Jordan told CNN.
President Trump has repeatedly said a vaccine could be ready by Election Day. However, even if the 53 cases emerged on Nov. 1, that wouldn’t be nearly enough time for the data to be reviewed by Nov. 3. Also, vaccine experts say it’s unlikely that the vaccine would show effectiveness so early in the trial.
Also, last week the US Food and Drug Administration made clear that they wanted to see two months of follow-up data after volunteers get their second doses, which would also make it impossible for the FDA to give an emergency use authorization for a vaccine by Nov. 3.