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Companies testing vaccines pledge safety, high standards

HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA - AUGUST 07: Lisa Taylor receives a COVID-19 vaccination from RN Jose Muniz as she takes part in a vaccine study at Research Centers of America on August 07, 2020 in Hollywood, Florida. Research Centers of America is currently conducting COVID-19 vaccine trials, implemented under the federal government's Operation Warp Speed program. The center is recruiting volunteers to participate in the clinical trials, working with the Federal Government and major Pharmaceutical Companies, that are racing to develop a vaccine to potentially prevent COVID-19. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(AP) – The top executives of nine drugmakers likely to produce the first vaccines against the new coronavirus signed an unprecedented pledge meant to boost public confidence in any approved vaccines.

The companies said Tuesday that they will stick to the highest ethical and scientific standards in testing and manufacturing and will make the well-being of those getting vaccinated their top priority.

The announcement comes amid worries that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be under political pressure to approve a vaccine before tests to prove it is safe and effective are finished.

Meanwhile, public health officials worry that if many Americans don’t get the vaccine, it will be harder to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The pledge was signed by the chief executive officers of American drugmakers Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer, and European companies AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi. BioNTech has partnered with Pfizer on one of the vaccines now in the final round of human testing.

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