WATCH: President Trump Announces FDA Approval of Hydroxychloroquine for Treatment of Coronavirus
President Donald Trump says “big progress” has already been made in the US on developing a vaccine for COVID-19. FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn explains the White House plan to test previously-approved malaria drugs Chloroquine and for Covid-19 treatment. Trump says that the FDA will make a common, off-patent malaria drug known as chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine available to the American public. It’s shown preliminary promise in patients. Trump said a drug called hydroxychloroquine, used to treat malaria, has shown “very, very encouraging early results” on coronavirus and that FDA will make it available “almost immediately.” “Individual states will handle it, doctors will handle it, I think it’s going to be great,” Trump says. The government is continuing to study the drug. “It could be a game-changer, and maybe not.” A clinical trial evaluating a vaccine designed to protect against the new coronavirus began Monday. The National Institutes of Health is funding the trial, which is taking place at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. Public health officials say it will take a year to 18 months to fully validate any potential vaccine. Testings begin with 45 young, healthy volunteers with different doses of shots co-developed by NIH and Moderna Inc. There’s no chance participants could get infected from the shots, because they don’t contain the virus itself. The goal is purely to check that the vaccines show no worrisome side effects, setting the stage for larger tests.