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Coronavirus Latest: Wednesday, September 23

On Wednesday, Johnson and Johnson announced that it would begin its phase 3 clinical trials for its coronavirus vaccine. This comes as Dr. Fauci testified before senate again on the state of the pandemic and the FDA announced that it was considering new, stricter rules for vaccine authorization. Yahoo Finance’s Anjalee Khemlani joins The Final Round to discuss the latest on the coronavirus.

Video Transcript

MYLES UDLAND: In the midst of a pandemic, always odd to kind of rig one day above another, but today was a particularly consequential day as it came to news and announcements related to the coronavirus-- hearing from Dr. Anthony Fauci, new guidance from the FDA. Anjalee Khemlani joins us now with all the news we need to know on that. Anjalee.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Thanks, Myles. Yep, so today we heard from the top health officials in front of a Senate committee really being pushed to answer some important questions about the process for the rest of the year and what that vaccine timeline looks like. We know we've heard repeatedly, you know, deferring sort of hopes for what will actually come to pass. Take a minute to listen to what Dr. Fauci had to say about that timeline.

DR ANTHONY FAUCI: As these trials go on, we predict that some time by the end of this year, let's say November or December, we will know whether or not these are safe and effective. And as you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, right now doses of this vaccine are being produced so that they'll be ready to be distributed.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: So as you can hear, we're looking at that, you know, later this year timeline, which kind of matches what we've been hearing. But while we've had some sort of focus On October, the end of October and November, you know, looking at that Election Day day, it seems like that's really out of question, and increasingly so with the FDA looking to really hamper down and come down with some stricter guidelines talking about possibly even pulling it out until Thanksgiving before we get any real indication of a working vaccine, and this is all in efforts to ensure that the public is reassured about the safety of that vaccine. So while we're waiting to get that guidance, Steve Hahn, the FDA Commissioner, did sort of hint at that also during the hearing today.

All things, you know, aside is that that timeline is really the key focus right now. And that's important too, because as we've seen, a number of companies are already, you know, in the race for this vaccine, Moderna and Pfizer among those. And today, Johnson & Johnson announcing it's phase three trials are just going to begin. We had Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels on earlier saying that we'll have some indication of the phase one trials in a couple of days, and that's really important, because that is going to help us understand just how this differing technology will separate it from the other contenders. Johnson & Johnson has a different type of technology that has been used as an Ebola vaccine, and it's also going to be a single dose vaccine, which is very different from the others and also helps with its timeline when it comes to the vaccine being approved. Myles.