News 12 talks one-on-one with lead investigator for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial

Data from each one of the trial sites gets compiled and is then handed to Dr. Thomas to review. Thomas is the lead investigator for the Pfizer vaccine trial.

News 12 Staff

Nov 18, 2020, 11:05 PM

Updated 1,332 days ago

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UPDATE: This article now features additional videos taken from our interview Dr. Thomas. 
Rockland-based Pfizer expects to have enough data to submit its COVID-19 vaccine to the FDA, and Dr. Stephen Thomas is the one man standing between the pharmaceutical company and that submission.
Dr. Thomas gives an overview of his role.
There are about 150 trials for Pfizer's vaccine happening worldwide. Data from each one of those sites gets compiled and is then handed to Dr. Thomas to review. Thomas is the lead investigator for the Pfizer vaccine trial.
"In my role, I look at the final package. It's the company and their clinical research partners doing the day and night seven day a week, 24 hours a day to put it together," says Thomas. "Whenever a sponsor is submitting information about a drug or vaccine or a device, they're looking primarily at safety and they're looking at whether or not the vaccine did what it was supposed to do, which was prevent COVID-19 disease in people who received the vaccine."
Dr. Thomas on the logistics of vaccine delivery.
Thomas says he thinks this is why they chose someone who was outside of the company, but someone who is familiar with the project and executing the project at one of their sites.
"Here, we enrolled over 300 people in the trial, so I know it very well, but I'm still objective because there's a lot of nuances I'm not familiar with and that's where a lot of the questions will come from," he says.
Dr. Thomas discusses his experience in his role. 
Dr. Thomas and Pfizer did not comment on the status of that data collection or submission.
Dr. Thomas discusses the possible FDA timeline.
Dr. Thomas on the number of people in the trial. 
Dr. Thomas on the ethnic makeup of participants. 
Dr. Thomas discusses vaccine trials on younger people. 


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