Pfizer, NYU Developing COVID-19 Vaccine With Hopeful September Release

Researchers are trying to build a vaccine that uses messenger RNA to help the human body produce antibodies.

Pfizer, NYU Developing COVID-19 Vaccine With Hopeful September Release
University of Oxford / AP

Pfizer Inc. and New York University are working on a coronavirus vaccine that they hope will be ready by September.

The pharmaceutical company and university are developing the vaccine in an innovative way: They say it would use messenger RNA to "reprogram" the virus and help the body fight it off, according to NBC News.

The chief of infectious diseases at an NYU medical center told NBC: "Messenger RNA is something the body produces on its own normally. ... It's kind of a new thing, but it's really not anything that's too different from what the body does for itself." 

A lead vaccine researcher at Pfizer said: "It is probably the fastest way of having a vaccine available to stem this pandemic, based on the data that I have seen."

That said, a vaccine researcher at Baylor University told NBC no RNA vaccine has ever been approved because so far they've only worked well in animal test subjects, not humans.

The Associated Press reported Pfizer and NYU are among around 100 research groups racing to find a coronavirus vaccine. However, U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned it is nearly impossible to predict which vaccine will be most effective with the least amount of side effects.