According to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the main focus of developing a vaccine should not be finishing first, but it should be the health and well being of people.
Appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Tuesday, Azar was asked for his response to Russia’s announcement it reportedly has the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine.
“Well, the point is not to be first with a vaccine. The point is to have a vaccine that is safe and effective for the American people and the people of the world,” Azar said.
He added, “We need transparent data and it’s got to be phase three data that shows that a vaccine is safe and effective.”
Check out his comments below:
Azar explained this is what President Donald Trump is attempting to accomplish through Operation Warp Speed.
Operation Warp Speed was announced in May and was “committed to implementing the (vaccine) plan and distributing medical countermeasures as fast as possible,” as IJR previously reported.
Azar predicted the United States will have doses available by the end of this year and into the beginning of the next.
“We believe that we are on track towards having tens of millions of doses by December of FDA gold standard vaccine, and hundreds of millions of doses as we go into the new year,” Azar said.
Azar was asked how he can stand by this timeline when analysts are suggesting they will not have results of a phase three trial until the beginning of next year.
“Dr. Anthony Fauci believes that it is very credible that we will have multiple vaccines that will be delivering results and we could have FDA authorized or approved vaccines by December,” Azar said.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb — former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner for Trump — expressed his concern over Russia’s announcement.
Watch his comments below:
"I wouldn't take it, certainly not outside a clinical trial right now," says @ScottGottliebMD on breaking news from Russia that the country has approved a #COVID19 vaccine. "It appears that it's only been tested in several hundred patients at most." pic.twitter.com/vXyGxJ7Zcq— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) August 11, 2020
“I wouldn’t take it, certainly not outside a clinical trial right now. It appears that it’s only been tested in several hundred patients at most,” Gottlieb said.