Public trust around coronavirus vaccines is dropping quickly, according to Dr. Seema Yasmin, a former CDC disease detective, who is tracking this in real time.
“I have concerns about how the trials for vaccines are being communicated,” she said about her observations from her work on misinformation and disinformation particularly around vaccines.
In a recent interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci said a Covid-19 vaccine could be available earlier than expected if ongoing clinical trials produce overwhelmingly positive results. Dr. Yasmin agrees, however, she points out that it will not lead to widespread usage if there is no public trust.
“What use is that if the American people are like, ‘Nope, I think you did this too quick, you named it Warp Speed, that’s really terrifying. Did you cut corners? How safe is this really?’” she said.
“My concern is that dropping credibility in science and scientists, in the FDA, which already this year has fast tracked two emergency use authorizations and very questionably,” she added.
Some background: Three Covid-19 vaccine candidates are in large-scale US trials. British drugmaker AstraZeneca said Monday it has started Phase 3 trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in the US, becoming the third company to start late-stage trials of a vaccine to prevent Covid-19.
The vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, has the backing of the US federal government. Rivals Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTec already have Phase 3 trials under way, also with federal government funding.
The World Health Organization cautioned countries Monday against rushing to develop coronavirus vaccines and advised taking great care in granting emergency use authorization — a quicker route to getting a vaccine in wide use than full approval, which can take many months.
With reporting from CNN's Andrea Kane