What an expert said about getting a COVID-19 vaccine before Christmas

OXFORD, England (KTRK) -- The COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford could present late-stage trial results before the end of the year, researchers said.

Oxford vaccine trial chief investigator Andrew Pollard said Wednesday his team is working on whether or not the vaccine would likely come this year.

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He said it's still unclear if it will be rolled out before Christmas.

"It's very difficult to answer the question, because first of all, we have to do the analysis to find out whether they work and if they do, then there's these other steps that have to be gone through and the timeline for those are not entirely clear to me at the moment," explained Pollard during a committee hearing. "I think there is a small chance of that being possible, but I just don't know."

The data would have to be carefully reviewed by regulators and then a political decision will be made on who should get the vaccine. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be one of the first vaccines from a major pharmaceutical company to be submitted for regulatory approval, along with Pfizer and BioNTech's candidate.

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A vaccine that works is seen as a game-changer in the battle against the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 1.2 million people. If it works, a vaccine would allow the world to return to some measure of normalcy after the tumult of the pandemic.

Pollard said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had set the bar for a vaccine being at least 50% effective - a level that would have a transformative impact on the pandemic.

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