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‘If Democrats Run On Medicare For All, Defund The Police, Socialized Medicine, We Won’t Win’

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) issued a warning to Democrats on a caucus call on Thursday, urging them to stay away from progressive positions as the Party potentially faces pivotal run-off races in the battleground state of Georgia, Politico reports.

If “we are going to run on Medicare for All, defund the police, socialized medicine, we’re not going to win,” Clyburn said to people on the call..

Speaker Nancy Pelosi also urged the caucus to focus on an “agenda of lowering health care, better paychecks, building infrastructure.” 

“This has been a life or death fight for the very fate of our democracy. We did not win every battle, but we did win the war,” Pelosi reportedly said. “We held the House. Joe Biden is on a clear path to be the next president of the United States.”

While the Democratic Party managed to hold on to the House, control of the Senate could come down to two Georgia races—GOP Sen. David Perdue facing off against Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff and GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Read more at Politico.com.

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California won’t budge on theme parks; India 8M cases; CVS

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Infecting young, healthy people with COVID-19 is an important, but controversial, part of creating a viable vaccine.

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India surpassed 8 million coronavirus cases on Thursday, moving closer to surpassing the U.S. for the most infections in the world.

While daily infections have dropped to their lowest level this week, health experts are worried that a major Hindu festival and winter will increase the spread of the virus. The Health Ministry reported 49,881 infections and 517 fatalities in the past 24 hours, raising the country’s death toll to 120,527.

Meanwhile, infections and deaths are surging in the U.S., with one American testing positive every 1.2 seconds and one death every 107 seconds, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Two “superspreader” events in New York, a wedding and birthday party, left 56 people infected with the virus and nearly 300 in quarantine. Long Island officials said the wedding violated the state’s 50-person limit while the birthday party did not.

“These kinds of superspreader events are a threat to our public health and to our continued economic recovery,” Steve Bellone, Suffolk County county executive, said at a news conference. 

On Twitter, Bellone added, “This type of blatant disregard for the wellbeing of others is not only extremely disappointing — it will not be tolerated.”

📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 8.8 million cases and more than 227,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 44.4 million cases and 1.17 million deaths. A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Tuesday shows 20 states set records for new cases in a week, while three states (Nebraska Tennessee and Wyoming) had a record number of deaths in a week.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.

This file will be updated throughout the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing newsletter.

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COVID-19 cases are surging: An American dies every 107 seconds

The U.S. set a record this week for new coronavirus cases over a seven-day period with more than 500,000 infections. An American is testing positive every 1.2 seconds.

Daily deaths are also climbing — one of us is dying every 107 seconds, according to Johns Hopkins data. And daily hospitalizations have been rising steadily for more than a month, from 28,608 on Sept. 20 to more than 44,000 on Tuesday.

“There’s no way to sugarcoat it: We are facing an urgent crisis, and there is an imminent risk to you, your family members, your friends, your neighbors and the people you care about,” said Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, whose state is seeing one of the nation’s worst outbreaks.

As winter approaches, America is facing a crucial fork in the road, said Melissa Nolan, an infectious disease expert and professor at the University of South Carolina.

“We might see a larger surge due to the pandemic fatigue Americans are experiencing,” Nolan told USA TODAY. “Americans are tired of adhering to

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EU won’t see full coronavirus vaccination until 2022, official reportedly warns

Despite several deals securing more than 1 billion doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine, government officials do not expect to be able to vaccinate the full European Union population until 2022, officials reportedly said at a meeting on Monday.  

“There will not be sufficient doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the entire population before the end of 2021,” a European Commission official told diplomats during a closed-door meeting on Monday, according to Reuters.

ITALY PROTESTS OVER LATEST CORONAVIRUS CRACKDOWN TURNS VIOLENT

The majority of nations in the EU, including Belgium, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands are implementing or considering restrictions on travel, dining, gatherings and more due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly warned that the country’s health system is being pushed to the brink amid the recent increase in cases. Spain has instituted a nationwide curfew and is mulling potential travel bans to hard-hit areas. In France, a doctor told a radio station that the country has “lost control” of the epidemic and should consider another lockdown.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT WARNS FRANCE HAS ‘LOST CONTROL’ 

“We lost control of the epidemic but that doesn’t date from yesterday,” Dr. Eric Caumes, head of infections and tropical disease at Paris’ Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, said, according to the Associated Press. “We lost control of the epidemic several weeks ago already.”

Several challenges to distributing a potential vaccine have been voiced by regulators and experts all over the world. Storage demands and application training are among the chief concerns, with some cautioning that such hurdles could delay delivering the vaccine in remote or hard-to-reach regions. As a result, officials have been asking governments to devise a plan to distribute the vaccine to the most vulnerable populations.

SPAIN ORDERS SECOND NATIONWIDE STATE OF EMERGENCY

The European Medicine Agency, the EU’s drug regulator, has previously stated that it would approve a coronavirus vaccine even if it was below 50% effective but proved safe to use. The EU has already secured doses of potential vaccines from AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson, according to Reuters.

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

As of Tuesday, the world had seen more than 42.6 million cases of coronavirus, with the U.S., India, Brazil, Russia and France seeing the highest amount of infection.

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Hours after Lightfoot announces new COVID-19 restrictions, Birx warns during Chicago visit that closing public spaces won’t be enough

CHICAGO — Just hours after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced new restrictions on businesses in response to rising COVID-19 cases, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx cautioned that closing public spaces won’t be enough to stop the illness’s spread.



a person wearing a suit and tie: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks before delivering her budget address on October 21, 2020, in Council Chambers at City Hall.


© Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks before delivering her budget address on October 21, 2020, in Council Chambers at City Hall.

Birx said it’s possible some of the recent spread is happening in people’s homes, during family gatherings, as the weather gets colder. She spoke at a news conference following a private meeting with leaders from Rush University System for Health, Northwestern Medicine and the Illinois and Chicago departments of public health at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on Thursday.

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“It won’t be as simple as closing public spaces because public spaces … were very safe over the summer and probably remain safe,” Birx said. “This is really something that has happened in the last three to four weeks. What has happened in the last three to four weeks is that people have moved their social gatherings indoors.”

On Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a curfew for nonessential businesses and no more indoor service at bars that don’t serve food. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has also announced tighter restrictions on bars, restaurants and gatherings in suburban counties with high COVID-19 positivity rates.

On Thursday the state announced 4,942 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the statewide rolling positivity rate stood at 5.7%, up from 3.7% two weeks earlier. In Illinois, 2,463 patients were in the hospital with COVID-19, according to Thursday figures, up from 1,812 two weeks earlier.

Birx also said Thursday that she advocated for weekly testing while meeting privately with hospital and public health leaders.

She said, at the news conference, that finding the “silent cases” and asymptomatic cases is “critical in preventing community spread.”

She recommended asking certain community members — such as community college students, teachers or hospital workers — if they would be willing to be tested weekly. She said universities that have tested students weekly have had more success limiting infections than those that only tested students who had been directly exposed to COVID-19 or had symptoms.

Birx said testing, along with mask-wearing and social distancing, are key to getting the spread of COVID-19 under control.

When asked what she’s doing to get President Donald Trump to understand the importance of social distancing and mask-wearing, she said: “My public health guidance is consistent no matter who I’m speaking to. I think you can see there’s a diversity of how people relate to that message.”

———

©2020 Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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LAMB charter school won’t reopen yet

So LAMB, a diverse school of more than 500 students and 120 staff members, was one of the first to inform parents that all students would probably have the option of returning to physical classrooms in October for a few days a week.

Then two weeks later, another message went out to families. The school no longer expected to return to in-person learning later that month and instead hoped to bring students into classrooms in January.

The health data hadn’t changed much in the District, but there were logistics that still needed to be figured out, said LAMB Executive Director Charis Sharp. One of the main issues: Teachers did not want to return to classrooms.

The abrupt change of plans at LAMB shows how, on a small scale, teacher reluctance can stop a school from reopening. Despite a new building, a top-notch air-filtration system, a non-unionized teaching staff and families who want to return, LAMB could not start in-person classes.

“Like everyone, we have been barely one step ahead since March. This is all unknown for us,” Sharp said in an interview. “Staff members are afraid that if they say they are unwilling to come back, then they will lose their jobs, and I don’t feel that is a good message to send my staff. If I don’t have enough virtual work for everyone who wants to do that, then I will have to furlough some people.” 

Before initially deciding to reopen, Sharp said she had followed health metrics and listened to experts who said that, with the proper safety precautions, opening school buildings can be safe. LAMB planned to have small class sizes, mask mandates, health assessments and thorough cleaning.

But Sharp said that much of the planning occurred over the summer when staff was not working — and she conceded that school leaders failed to properly field teacher input before announcing that the school would launch an in-person, hybrid model in October.

The school didn’t survey teachers until after the announcement. More than half said they would return only because they feared they would lose their jobs, and 90 percent said they thought returning to school was the wrong decision.

Even without a union, teachers do have leverage in the reopening plans. LAMB teachers have special licenses to lead Montessori and bilingual classes. Sharp said she could not just push out teachers who refused to return and find qualified replacements.

And, even if she could find replacements, Sharp said she wouldn’t want to. She and LAMB parents like their teachers and want them to stay at the school.

Sharp also realized that with the main public school systems in the District and surrounding jurisdictions mostly closed for in-person learning, it was harder to convince her teachers that reopening was the right decision.

“The more important thing to me is that my staff feel safe in whatever we are doing,” Sharp said. “Because if they do not feel that way, they are not going to give me or students

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USA TODAY’s experts say securing a COVID-19 vaccine in record time could be easy, but distributing it won’t be

Science is making incredible progress toward a COVID-19 vaccine, but as approval nears – potentially as early as December – worry has shifted to the complexity of distribution.



chart, sunburst chart: Vaccine Pannel promo


© Javier Zarracina
Vaccine Pannel promo

Overall, hopefulness was the theme of USA TODAY’s vaccine panel this month. After five months, the panel’s countdown clock to a widely available vaccine skipped forward another hour, to 8 a.m. 

Companies and observers generally expect at least one COVID-19 candidate vaccine soon will receive a regulatory thumbs up. Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, joined the chorus Tuesday when he told NPR he was “guardedly optimistic” one or more of the candidates will be judged safe and effective by the end of the year.

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But reality is setting in about how hard it will be to get an approved vaccine into the arms of everyone who wants it – twice.

“The initial vaccine supply and the distribution and vaccination programs will not live up to the public’s desire for immediate, widespread access to a safe and effective vaccine,” said Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of immunization education at the Immunization Action Coalition.

Health care workers and first responders are likely to be prioritized for an approved vaccine, followed by high-risk elderly.

Even those limited groups account for as many as 150 million Americans, said Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Unless three vaccines win approval simultaneously, it’s unlikely enough doses will be available right away. 

The two leading vaccine candidates have to be delivered in different ways, adding to the difficulty of getting the right vaccine into the right person. Both require two doses, but the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shots are given 21 days apart, while Moderna’s second shot is delivered at 28 days.

Moderna’s vaccine must be kept frozen. Pfizer’s has to be kept even colder – at minus-78 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of dry ice – meaning it needs different shipping and storing protocols.

Another variable is whether the vaccines will be equally effective in groups such as the elderly. Studies underway may show one vaccine is more effective than another among high-risk populations, adding even more complexity.

“It’s going to be hard,” Offit said, to get the right vaccine into the right person’s arm at the right time. And then to do it again with a second dose.

Making progress

For the past five months, USA TODAY has asked a dozen or more experts in all aspects of vaccine development to gauge the progress on a COVID-19 vaccine.

We asked panel members to place vaccine development on a 12-hour clock, on which midnight, the starting point, is the moment in early January when the world became aware of the virus known as SARS-CoV-2, and noon is the time a vaccine will become widely available.

In late June, panelists put the time at 4 a.m., one-third

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COVID-19 vaccine won’t be ready in weeks, nor mandatory

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Harris says she would absolutely take a vaccine if it was recommended by public health professionals, but not if only President Trump says to.

USA TODAY

The claim: COVID-19 vaccine will be ready in weeks, and the government will force everyone to get it

The global effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine has been a priority since the coronavirus pandemic started. Seven months into the U.S. outbreak, vaccine candidates are facing skepticism by some in the general public and various elected officials.  

Leading health officials, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, have maintained that a vaccine likely won’t be widely available until mid-2021. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has promised a vaccine before Election Day, prompting the Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris to accuse Trump of politicizing the vaccine and to question its safety, noting that she would take it only if the health experts said it was safe.  

The effectiveness and safety of a COVID-19 vaccine is not the only thing people are worried about. Vaccine conspiracy theories that originated in anti-vaxxer communities have thrived anew in the COVID-19 era, including claims that the vaccine would implant microchips or that it will be mandatory for every American.

A post from from Before It’s News, a website that allows anyone to contribute, — which was shared 38,00 times as of Oct. 15 — furthers the conspiracy theory of a mandatory vaccine, with a headline reading, “The Government Has Released Their Initial Plans to Force a Vaccine on Everyone.”

The post also says, “Three potential vaccines are currently in Stage 3 trials in the United States and could be ready in weeks,” citing Trump.

USA TODAY reached out to the site’s Facebook page for comment.

We’ll look at the two claims here: Will a vaccine be mandatory? And, what does the development and distribution timeline really look like?

Will a vaccine be ready in weeks?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the general cycle for the development of a new vaccine has six stages: exploratory stage, pre-clinical stage, clinical development, regulatory review and approval, manufacturing and quality control. 

The global prioritization of finding a COVID-19 vaccine has shortened the timeline of its development, which for a regular vaccine would usually take years. However, vaccine developers and institutions like the CDC are following existing protocols to ensure the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. 

As of Oct. 15, according to the World Health Organization, 42 vaccine candidates are in clinical evaluations and 156 are in preclinical evaluations.

16-year-old Katelyn Evans gets the first of two shots as part of a trial testing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in minors. (Photo: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital)

The post from Before It’s News cites a Sept. 15 comment from Trump where he said a vaccine could be ready in a “matter of weeks.” On Oct. 5, Trump said vaccines would be ready “momentarily.” However, scientists disagree.

On Sept. 16, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said that while an effective vaccine could be developed before the

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The Latest: UNGA Head Concerned NY Mayor Won’t Meet on Virus | World News

UNITED NATIONS — The president of the United Nations General Assembly has expressed concern that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio rejected a meeting with him to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work of the 193-member world organization.

Volker Bozkir said in a statement that the United Nations “has been proud to call the city its home since the middle of the last century” and is “happy to generate billions of dollars in economic benefits and tens of thousands of jobs in New York City.” But the Turkish politician said he was disappointed at the mayor’s refusal to meet him.

Bozkir said: “This lack of interaction concerns me.”

His spokesman, Brenden Varma, told reporters that Bozkir reached out about two weeks ago to ask for an appointment with the mayor. But the assembly president received a response a few days ago declining the request, he said.

Penny Abeywardena, New York City’s commissioner for international affairs, responded to the assembly president’s statement without mentioning the mayor’s decision not to meet Bozkir.

She pointed to de Blasio’s “excellent relationship” with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and “deeply collaborative relationship with Mr. Bozkir’s predecessors,” and said the city looks forward “to continuing our partnership with the United Nations.”

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— France surpasses 1 million coronavirus cases

— WHO says Northern hemisphere at ‘critical juncture’ with rising cases, deaths

— FDA approves first COVID-19 drug: antiviral remdesivir

— UN chief says G-20 leaders must coordinate to fight coronavirus. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is frustrated leaders of 20 major industrialized countries didn’t do it in March as he proposed.

— Schools from New Jersey to California have been hit with teacher and staff layoffs. Urban areas lacking the property wealth of suburban communities are especially vulnerable to budget cuts, with many schools hoping for a new round of federal money.

— An online Japanese-language text messaging service for suicide prevention has grown to 500 volunteers since March.

Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

MADISON, Wis. — Nearly 4,400 more Wisconsin residents have contracted COVID-19 as the disease continues to surge unchecked across the U.S. state.

The state Department of Health Services reported 4,378 newly confirmed cases on Friday. The daily record is 4,591 cases, set on Tuesday. The state has now seen 190,478 cases since the pandemic began in March.

DHS reported 42 more people have died, bringing the death toll to 1,745.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association reported 1,243 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Friday, setting a new record for the second straight day. Two patients were at a field hospital the state has set up at the state fairgrounds in West Allis as of Friday.

NEW YORK — The number of people hospitalized in New York because of the coronavirus has climbed back over 1,000.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there were 1,023 hospitalizations around the state as of Thursday. That’s more than

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The most advanced Covid-19 vaccine trials won’t tell us if the shots save lives, expert notes

The most advanced trials for coronavirus vaccines cannot tell researchers if the shots will save lives, or even if they’ll prevent serious disease, a drug development expert pointed out Wednesday.



a woman smiling for the camera


© Reuters / University of Oxford


The ongoing trials are only designed to show if the vaccines prevent infection — and most infections are mild infections, Peter Doshi, an associate editor at the BMJ medical journal and a drug development specialist at the University of Maryland’s school of pharmacy, said.

“I think there are some pretty widely held assumptions about what we are getting out of Phase 3 studies,” Doshi told CNN.

“None of the trials currently under way are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospital admissions, use of intensive care, or deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus,” Doshi wrote in the BMJ.

“Hospital admissions and deaths from Covid-19 are simply too uncommon in the population being studied for an effective vaccine to demonstrate statistically significant differences in a trial of 30,000 people. The same is true of its ability to save lives or prevent transmission: the trials are not designed to find out.”

Four vaccines being developed in the US are in the most advanced, Phase 3 stage of development: those being made by Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. They’re “event-driven” trials, meaning that the goal is to keep them going until a certain number of volunteers become infected. If more infections are seen among people who got placebo, or dummy shots, it’s an indication the vaccines prevented infection.

But that doesn’t mean the vaccines saved people from serious disease or death, Doshi argued.

“Severe illness requiring hospital admission, which happens in only a small fraction of symptomatic Covid-19 cases, would be unlikely to occur in significant numbers in trials,” he wrote.

The US Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meets Thursday to discuss the ongoing coronavirus vaccine trials and what members would like the FDA to consider when reviewing any applications for either emergency use authorization for a vaccine, or full approval.

Doshi said they should consider asking the companies to reconfigure their trials to include data on preventing severe illness and death.

“People expect that the most severe part of the Covid iceberg — the ICU admissions and hospitalizations and deaths — that’s what a vaccine would put an end to,” he said.

But the current trials will just look for early infections. It’s possible to keep these current trials going and add onto them so that they will, eventually, answer the question of whether Covid vaccines save lives and prevent severe disease.

“The trials are ongoing,” he told CNN. “There’s a chance for that. It’s not too late.”

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Covid-19 vaccine trials won’t tell us if the shots save lives, expert notes

The most advanced trials for coronavirus vaccines cannot tell researchers if the shots will save lives, or even if they’ll prevent serious disease, a drug development expert pointed out Wednesday.



a woman smiling for the camera


© Reuters / University of Oxford


The ongoing trials are only designed to show if the vaccines prevent infection — and most infections are mild infections, Peter Doshi, an associate editor at the BMJ medical journal and a drug development specialist at the University of Maryland’s school of pharmacy, said.

“I think there are some pretty widely held assumptions about what we are getting out of Phase 3 studies,” Doshi told CNN.

“None of the trials currently under way are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospital admissions, use of intensive care, or deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus,” Doshi wrote in the BMJ.

“Hospital admissions and deaths from Covid-19 are simply too uncommon in the population being studied for an effective vaccine to demonstrate statistically significant differences in a trial of 30,000 people. The same is true of its ability to save lives or prevent transmission: the trials are not designed to find out.”

Video: AstraZeneca vaccine trial volunteer dies (CNN)

AstraZeneca vaccine trial volunteer dies

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Four vaccines being developed in the US are in the most advanced, Phase 3 stage of development: those being made by Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. They’re “event-driven” trials, meaning that the goal is to keep them going until a certain number of volunteers become infected. If more infections are seen among people who got placebo, or dummy shots, it’s an indication the vaccines prevented infection.

But that doesn’t mean the vaccines saved people from serious disease or death, Doshi argued.

“Severe illness requiring hospital admission, which happens in only a small fraction of symptomatic Covid-19 cases, would be unlikely to occur in significant numbers in trials,” he wrote.

The US Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meets Thursday to discuss the ongoing coronavirus vaccine trials and what members would like the FDA to consider when reviewing any applications for either emergency use authorization for a vaccine, or full approval.

Doshi said they should consider asking the companies to reconfigure their trials to include data on preventing severe illness and death.

“People expect that the most severe part of the Covid iceberg — the ICU admissions and hospitalizations and deaths — that’s what a vaccine would put an end to,” he said.

But the current trials will just look for early infections. It’s possible to keep these current trials going and add onto them so that they will, eventually, answer the question of whether Covid vaccines save lives and prevent severe disease.

“The trials are ongoing,” he told CNN. “There’s a chance for that. It’s not too late.”

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