COVID-19 Vaccine Development Will Follow Scientific Process, US Experts Vow

Development of a COVID-19 vaccine will not be compromised by outside political considerations, U.S. health experts told lawmakers Wednesday.The nation’s top health officials said the six vaccine candidates currently in large-scale U.S. trials are expected to deliver a result that can be distributed to the most vulnerable populations — including health care workers and first responders — by the end of this year.  “We need to follow the process because the process works,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told Senate lawmakers Wednesday.  Surgeon General Jerome Adams appears before a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss vaccines and protecting public health during the coronavirus pandemic on Capitol Hill, Sept. 9, 2020.President Donald Trump has made vaccine development an issue in the U.S. presidential election, suggesting his administration’s efforts to fast-track a vaccine could yield results by October. If this happened, it would be the fastest ever development of a vaccine for a novel virus.  “Under Operation Warp Speed, we’re producing a vaccine in record time. This is a vaccine that we’re going to have very soon, very, very soon. By the end of the year, but much sooner than that, perhaps. And this is something that’s incredible. This would’ve taken two or three years by the last administration, and in all fairness, by most other administrations,” Trump said Tuesday.  FILE – Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks about the coronavirus during a media availability on Capitol Hill, March 3, 2020.US Drug Execs Promise COVID Vaccine Safety Before Seeking Government Approval Unusual statement by nine competing firms comes as Trump pushes for vaccine approval before Election Day “We want it to be known that also in the current situation we are not willing to compromise safety and efficacy,” said Ugur Sahin, chief executive of Pfizer’s German partner BioNTech and one of the co-signers of the pledge.  Another co-signer, AstraZeneca also said Tuesday that it had voluntarily paused late-stage trials of its vaccine due to illness in one of the study volunteers. The company noted this is not an unusual occurrence or response during vaccine development.  Pharmaceutical Giant AstraZeneca Halts COVID-19 Vaccine TrialTesting of vaccine developed with University of Oxford paused after participant develops ‘unexplained illness’The U.S. leads the world in confirmed COVID-19 deaths, with nearly 190,000. The U.S. is also home to a world-leading 6.3 million coronavirus infections, nearly one-quarter of the more than 27.3 million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.   Adams and Collins said the vaccine was still on track to be distributed to the American public by 2021.  

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