AIBS has joined fourteen other scientific societies in urging Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn to adhere to stringent scientific and medical standards while assessing the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
The letter responds to President Trump’s claim that a COVID-19 vaccine would probably be available before Election Day. This raised concerns about political interference in the vaccine approval process.
The scientific coalition urged FDA “to exercise the independence and scientific rigor for which the FDA is known” and warned that “allowing a vaccine to enter the marketplace prior to a rigorous assessment of its safety and efficacy would undermine vaccine confidence in the nation, erode the public’s trust in the agency, and risk the health of the American public.”
“The approval of a low-efficacy vaccine could lead to a false sense of protection, resulting in the easing of public health measures, and that will exacerbate the pandemic,” the groups note. “Approving a vaccine without adequate testing could result in adverse impacts and worsen the already significant anti-vaccination sentiment.”