Vaccine Safety

Will anyone take an unsafe vaccine? AstraZeneca halted global trials of its coronavirus vaccine, after a participant contracted an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord. Vaccine safety is important or no one will take it.  Just 2 in 10 Americans would take a free coronavirus vaccine were it released this year according to a poll. More than half (58 percent) would wait to see how others were affected by the injection before getting one themselves.

Typically it takes years for a virus vaccine to be safely developed, but Stephen Hahn, the head of the Food and Drug Administration, said he is willing to skip the safety process to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine. Presumably to help Trump get re-elected.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump doubled down on recent comments suggesting that a vaccine could be available as soon as next month. “You could even have it during the month of October.” No mention of safety though.

Moncef Slaoui is the chief scientific adviser to the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed. He disagreed with Trump’s promise in an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered. “There is a very, very low chance that the trials that are running as we speak could read before the end of October,” Slaoui said.

Americans continue to broadly disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. Polls show that voters say they trust Biden over Trump to confront the pandemic. No one trusts Trump with vaccine safety.

“President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence see a Covid-19 vaccine as a political tool,” Biden and Harris wrote. “We see it as a product of science and research.”