Moderna's coronavirus vaccine won't be ready for widespread distribution until spring, CEO predicts

FILE - Illustration of syringe seen with American flag in the background. (Photo illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Just a day after President Trump said the nation was only “weeks away” from a coronavirus vaccine, the head of Moderna reportedly said his company will not be able to apply for authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) until late November at the earliest.

“November 25 is the time we will have enough safety data to be able to put into an EUA file that we would send to the FDA – assuming that the safety data is good, i.e. a vaccine is deemed safe,” Stephane Bancel, Moderna CEO, told the Financial Times on Wednesday.

He then predicted that the company would not be able to release the vaccine to the general public until sometime next spring.

“I think a late [first quarter], early [second quarter] approval, is a reasonable timeline, based on what we know from our vaccine,” he told the news outlet.

The government has already struck a deal with Moderna for 100 million doses of the vaccine as part of Operation Warp Speed, with an option to buy an additional 400 million doses. Bancel has previously conceded that it will take more than one company to supply enough vaccines to combat the coronavirus.