This part of the road is going to be especially bumpy, as we saw this week with the release of several documents from the CDC asking governments to start getting ready to distribute vaccines that might be available in small quantities as early as late October — right before the presidential election. “This timeline of the initial deployment at the end of October is deeply worrisome for the politicization of public health and the potential safety ramifications,” Saskia Popescu, an infection prevention epidemiologist, told The New York Times. “It’s hard not to see this as a push for a pre-election vaccine. “It’s hard not to see this as a push for a pre-election vaccine.
If these massive studies can show that the vaccines are both safe and effective, then that’s going to be the first major hurdle to people getting a vaccine.
If a vaccine does come out then — something that experts have said is unlikely — officials will have to strongly demonstrate that the vaccine is not a political ploy designed to garner votes. “I would immediately resign if there is undue interference in this process,” said Moncef Slaoui, the scientific lead of the US’s vaccine development program, in a candid interview with Science this week.
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