Safety, Effectiveness, & Equitable Mass Distribution are Keys to the COVID Vaccine.
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The possibility of discovering a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is looking better, as two key clinical trials have made great progress. But if we want to defeat the virus, we need eventual vaccines to prevent COVID-19 to be effective and widely utilized.
On Wednesday, Pfizer and BioNTech reported that the Phase 3 trial of their COVID-19 vaccine shows it was 95% effective in preventing infections, even in older adults, and caused no serious safety concerns. While this is a critical step in the right direction, we need to ensure that the vaccine is not only safe but also trusted by Americans and broadly distributed.
The first step in this process is to receive approval from the FDA. This requires the FDA to conduct a deep dive into the vaccine trial data and determine whether or not to issue an emergency-use authorization. FDA approval ensures that the vaccine is effective and safe. This is key, as accuracy over speed is vital in securing the trust of the American public. Once approval is acquired, our federal, state and local governments must coordinate and work diligently to set up the infrastructure and means to distribute the vaccine. The vaccine must be properly and equitably distributed across the country so all Americans have access -- at no cost -- to ensure the vaccine is widely taken up.
Many Americans have grown skeptical of the coronavirus vaccine in recent months, as they fear it may be rushed for political reasons. Medical mistrust is also incredibly high among communities of color due to historical medical abuses and the disproportionate impact of COVID. As a result, safety, effectiveness, and equity are key to securing Americans' trust in the vaccine. Rapidly putting the infrastructure in place to deploy hundreds of millions of doses must be paired with increased public trust so every American can be protected.
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