White House drops objections to FDA’s strict coronavirus vaccine guidelines

VIDEO: UW forum emphasizing accuracy over politics on COVID-19 vaccine

coronavirus — In the race for a coronavirus vaccine, the White House has dropped its objections to the FDA’s strict coronavirus vaccine guidelines.

The enhanced guidelines essentially guarantee no vaccine would be approved before Election Day.

“The stakes simply could not be higher,” said University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce.

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In a virtual conference put on by the University of Washington and Johns Hopkins University, Cauce and other leaders urged scientific integrity in vaccine development.

“We are calling for preserving the sanctity of the science behind their work and for the scientific process to proceed at the speed of integrity and accuracy, not politics,” added Cauce.

But the latest Pew Research poll shows Americans are less willing to get vaccinated for COVID-19. In May, 72% of Americans said they would get the vaccine.

It dropped to 51% in September.

“We know the best vaccine is only effective if people trust it and ultimately agree to receive it,” said John Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels.

The meeting comes as the White House, after a political tug of war, finally approved the FDA’s new safety guidelines for the emergency release of a vaccine.

The sticking point was the requirement that calls for at least two months of safety follow-up after a vaccine trial is complete.

“Our mission is to deliver approved vaccines to American people before the end of the year,” said Moncef Slaoui, Chief Advisor for Operation Warp Speed, which is the public-private partnership tasked with fast-tracking a coronavirus vaccine.

But even the night before the symposium, President Donald Trump gave a much faster timeline when he returned to the White House after being hospitalized for COVID-19.

“The vaccines are coming momentarily,” said Trump.

Today we also learned Moderna’s vaccine, which is now in stage 3 trials, is expected to know within the next seven weeks whether their vaccine works.

A volunteer told KIRO 7 she wanted to witness and trust the science behind the vaccine.

“There are a lot of conflicting messages out there right now, and I need to know for myself that if something does come out that it is safe for me to take. I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want my friends to get sick,” said Ann Brooks.

Once the vaccine is ready, there won’t be enough for everyone at first. Slaoui said he hopes that will happen by the middle of next year.