"Those who don’t get vaccinated will become ‘weak link’ that allows coronavirus to spread."
- Medical experts fear a vaccine approval could be politically motivated.
- The federal government is pushing states to have vaccine distribution sites ready by Nov.1, two days before the presidential election.
Albert Bourla, chief executive officer of Pfizer pharmaceutical company, arrives to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla warned on Tuesday that people who don’t take the Covid-19 vaccine will become a “weak link” that allows the coronavirus to spread. Bourla, whose company is in late-stage testing for a potential inoculation, said he understands the public’s concerns about vaccines, which are being developed in record time. He said Pfizer will only request authorization from the Food and Drug Administration after data shows that its vaccine is safe and effective.
Bourla told NBC’s “TODAY.”
"People who decide against taking the vaccine once available “will not only affect their lives. They will affect the lives of others because if they don’t vaccinate, they will become the weak link that will allow this virus to replicate,” he."
Vaccine hesitancy was is a large problem in the United States because there are effective treatments for Covid-19, making the vaccines unnecessary. Confusing communication from the Trump administration on vaccine development has exacerbated opposition to a vaccine and could jeopardize a Covid-19 vaccine’s impact.
Medical experts also believe that a vaccine-approval could be politically-motivated as the Trump administration pushes states to have vaccine distribution sites ready by Nov.1, two days before the presidential election.
According to a recent USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll, two-thirds of voters say they won’t get the coronavirus vaccine as soon as it becomes available. Another poll from Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found only 49% of Americans say they plan to take a vaccine for Covid-19 once one is available.
Earlier Tuesday, a group of drugmakers, including Pfizer, pledged to “uphold the integrity of the scientific process” as they work toward potential global regulatory filings and approvals of the first Covid-19 vaccines.The problem is that Americans don’t trust Big Pharma companies who face no liability for selling vaccines that can injure people and meddle with their DNA.
The unusual move comes after Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the FDA, told the Financial Times last week that the agency is prepared to bypass the full federal approval process in order to make a vaccine available as soon as possible. Insisting the agency wasn’t being pressured by President Donald Trump to fast-track a vaccine, Hahn said an emergency authorization could be appropriate before phase three clinical trials are completed if the benefits outweigh the risks.
It also came after news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked governors and health departments to prepare to distribute a vaccine as soon as November.
“We want it to be known that also in the current situation we are not willing to compromise safety and efficacy,” said co-signatory Ugur Sahin, CEO of Pfizer’s German partner BioNTech. Bourla called the commitment a “historic pledge,” adding the world is “looking to science right now.”
“We saw it critical to come out and reiterate our commitment,” he said Tuesday. “We will develop our product, develop our vaccine using the highest ethical standards.”
In the end, these could be just empty words . . .
Last week, he said the company could have results from its late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial as early as October after enrolling 23,000 volunteers.
What could go wrong?