Food and Drug Administration Commissioner says safety is highest priority for COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 6:13 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - FDA Commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn, joined Wyoming News Now Wednesday morning to speak about COVID-19 vaccines and public health.

We asked Dr. Hahn about where the United States is right now with a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

“In the United States we currently have four vaccines that are entering or have entered phase three trials which is the final phase of development of a vaccine, and that’s where the sponsors look at the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine in a very large population of volunteers.” said Hahn.

We then asked Dr. Hahn about the importance of making sure the vaccine is safe before distributing it to the public.

“Our mission is to protect and promote the public health of the American people, we take that very seriously. We just don’t look at a scientific paper, we don’t just look at a press release. We actually don’t rely upon the conclusions of others, we look at the raw data from a clinical trial ourselves, we do our own analysis, and we draw our own conclusions and that’s regardless of the medical product. But really this is about assessing from a vaccine point of view, do the data from the phase three clinical trials demonstrate safety and effectiveness,” said Hahn.

“So in our guidance, we stated two things: we wanted to see a floor of at least 50% effectiveness of a vaccine, we also said that we needed to see a minimum of two months of follow up safety data in at least 50% of the people who’ve gone on the trial. We wanted to have a very robust safety database,” said Hahn.

We then asked Dr. Hahn about the misinformation floating around about the pandemic and why it’s important to follow the guidelines of the CDC and FDA.

“The career staff at CDC and FDA are incredible scientists, and doctors, and nurses. They know the data, they know the information that’s important for public health. I would strongly recommend that Americans follow the recommendations of the CDC and the FDA,” said Hahn.

Hahn closed the interview by saying COVID-19 isn’t going away but they know much more about it now, and encourages people to continue doing their part to slow the spread.

Copyright 2020 Wyoming News Now. All rights reserved.

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