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News of potential COVID-19 vaccine met with optimism, caution

Effective therapies may come first, predicts Texas Biomed CEO

SAN ANTONIO – News that Pfizer Pharmaceutical has agreed to sell the U.S. government 100 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in December for $2 billion was a major announcement Wednesday.

“But I think we should still be cautious,” said Dr. Larry Schlesinger, president and CEO of Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

"It's a cautionary tale, but we're in the right direction," Schlesinger said.

Texas Biomed’s scientists and researchers have been at the forefront of the worldwide effort to find safe and effective vaccines and therapies to treat the coronavirus.

Although Pfizer has been put on the fast track for an expedited six-month review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Schlesinger said anything is possible.

He said the FDA may want more information or further experiments.

If so, he said it could be later in 2021 or 2022.

“That’s why I think we need to move therapies along because I think they can move faster,” Schlesinger said. “In fact, we may have better therapies before we have a vaccine.”

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