Nine pharmaceutical companies pledged on Tuesday to “uphold the integrity of the scientific process” as they face pressure to quickly produce a coronavirus vaccine.
In a joint statement, the drugmakers said they would only submit the vaccines for approval after demonstrating safety and efficacy through “large, high-quality clinical trials.”
They promised to “always make the safety and well-being of vaccinated individuals our top priority.”
The pledge is signed by the chief executives of AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer and Sanofi.
“We believe this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved,” they said.
The unusual move comes amid concerns that political pressure to quickly roll out inoculations could undermine public trust in them, potentially deterring people from taking a vaccine.
U.S. President Donald Trump has been touting the possibility of having a vaccine before the November presidential election, but it is unclear if scientists will be confident in the efficacy and safety of the doses by then.
Companies around the world have accelerated their research efforts for vaccines, with many reporting progress.
Governments are eager to curb the coronavirus pandemic and allow life to return to normal after lockdowns and social-distancing measures affected billions of people.