Over 20 companies are involved in the quest for finding the first and effective coronavirus vaccine. During a press briefing on Thursday, President Trump declared that a vaccine could be ready before the election. But in the light of recent development, he has changed that assertion to agree with health experts that that might not be feasible until early next year.
“It may or may not, but it would be within a matter of weeks from November,” he said. “It’s ready to go and it’s ready for massive distribution to everybody.”
However, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials believe that it would take until the summer of 2021 for the COVID-19 vaccination to be ready for the American public.
Consequently, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, former White House policy advisor under the Obama era and Vice Provost of Global Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, stated that the President’s assertion is just the wishful thinking of a candidate fighting for re-election. He added that maybe the president gave that unrealistic time-line because he is privy to information that the general American public does not have.
“Having a vaccine depends upon nature and not on his rhetoric,” Dr. Emanuel said. “It depends on how many people who are exposed in the trials, how many people convert, how protective the vaccine actually is. And that’s determined by the environment, not by his rhetoric.”
China announced that its coronavirus vaccine is ready and available for public administration, but many countries in the world do not trust the safety and effectiveness of China drugs. And yet, drugmakers in the US are under a lot of pressures given the president’s rhetorics.
“I do think it’s imperative that any data that are submitted to the FDA be viewed at and critically assessed by one of the advisory committees even if they are only going for an emergency use authorization,” Emanuel stated. “There is also a need of an external advisory committee that is not obligated to President Trump to evaluate the data and make a decision that’s not rushed through.”
A recent poll revealed that about one in 10 Americans trust the FDA and drugmakers to be truthful and transparent in their vaccine development efforts given the pressure from Trump to deliver on vaccines before the coming presidential elections in November.
A recent survey discovered that only one in 10 Americans trust the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry effectively. And in the unlikely situation where Trump loses the elections, Emanuel stated that the incoming administration must start afresh to rebuild the public’s trust in the government again. He added that there must be increased efforts to improve transparency and increase the importance of the advisory committees on drug approvals.
A recent Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation report reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic has eradicated many years of progress already covering vaccine development. The finding, according to Emanuel, explains the reason for a very urgent need for a vaccine. He said the data is very important and must not be swept under the carpet in decisions related to the safety and effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines and the timeline for their availability to the general public.