NIH Director on Coronavirus Vaccine: Nothing Will Get Pushed Through Unless It Meets the Highest Standards

NIH Director on Coronavirus Vaccine: Nothing Will Get Pushed Through Unless It Meets the Highest Standards


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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With much debate over the potential for a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) guarantees that whatever vaccine which emerges will measure up to the “highest standards.”

Much confusion around a vaccine has emerged as Donald Trump’s baselessly been promising a vaccine will be available before Election Day.

There have been 6.4 million cases of COVID-19 reported in the United States, including more than 192,000 deaths from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We’re talking about giving a vaccine to currently healthy people. You should have a very low tolerance, therefore, for anything that’s a serious side effect. Okay. If somebody has a sore arm. We can probably work with that. Somebody gets a temporary, low-grade fever, we can work with that. But nothing more serious than that would be appropriate for a vaccine that you are talking about giving to hundreds of millions of people,” said Dr Francis Collins, a world-famous researcher who has been head of the NIH since 2009. “Which is why you do these very large-scale tests, trials, to find out is it safe? And does it work? And I just want to reassure everybody who is listening. We are not going to make sure shortcuts in that assessment of safety efficacy.

“This is in a place where there are multiple, different layers of oversight of this. To make sure that nothing gets pushed through, unless it meets the highest standards, probably the highest standards that ever have been applied for a vaccine, are going to be applied in this situation,” he added.

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