Corona vaccine: pharmaceutical association warns of too high expectations

Politicians and pharmaceutical companies are raising hopes for a vaccine against the coronavirus later this year.

In a presentation by the Association of Researching Pharmaceutical Companies (vfa), which has, it is warned that a vaccine will only be available in sufficient quantities “probably in 2021”.

The vfa spokesman said on request that the pressure on the industry was higher than ever – “the fact that it will still take a while before the results are reliable will not change anything.”

The corona pandemic will not end until a large amount of a vaccine is available to the world. Weekly, almost daily, there are therefore water level reports from the pharmaceutical industry and politics about progress in the development of appropriate funds.

Researchers at the University of Oxford, for example, are optimistic that they will have an effective vaccine in June; An investor from the company CureVac spoke of a vaccine at the end of the year, as did EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and US President Donald Trump.

Optimism that the Association of Researching Pharmaceutical Companies (vfa) is holding back. In a presentation that vfa representatives held on Monday in front of members of the health care tank Bundesverband Managed Care (BMC), it says: “Extensive agreement among experts: large amounts of vaccine not available before 2021″.

The vfa presentation includes 131 coronavirus vaccine projects worldwide. In some, volunteer testing had already started. “It is not so important who gets the first approval. It is important that as many as possible create the approval and produce it for global needs, ”says the presentation. “It’s a race against the pandemic; who is the first is not so important. ”

“No one can say for sure when we will have corona vaccines”

However, it will still take a while before approvals are granted, says Rolf Hömke to At vfa, Hömke is responsible for communication in the field of research and medicine; he created the association’s presentation on “Covid-19 and drug research”.

“Forecasts that aim for a vaccine by the end of the year must assume that everything runs smoothly in development – that there will be no problems with volunteer testing, dosage tests, the injection schedule and the start of large-scale production,” says Hömke.

Even if spring 2021 is given as the target date, this only applies if there are no major problems by then. In plain language means: “Nobody can say for sure when we will have vaccines nationwide.”

On the other hand, there is the intense need of the public in the corona crisis to want to know when – finally – a vaccine or effective medication against the virus is available. For many companies and research groups, this is unusual attention.

“This is why some often report interim results, others are more reluctant,” says Hömke. “That does not change the fact that it will take a while before the results are reliable.”

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