Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker, August 22: A high-level official of the Food and Drug Administration has said that he will resign if the agency green-lights an unproven or ineffective coronavirus vaccine.
In a statement to Reuters, Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, told that he “would feel obligated” to step down from his position if the agency approves an unsafe vaccine.
“I could not stand by and see something that was unsafe or ineffective that was being put through. You have to decide where your red line is, and that’s my red line. I would feel obligated (to resign) because in doing so, I would indicate to the American public that there is something wrong,” Marks was quoted as saying.
According to the Washington Post reports, Marks leads a team of experts who are responsible for identifying potential coronavirus treatments. Historically, FDA officials such as Marks have the final say on medical items released to the public. If this trend continues, Marks will be the decisive figure in deciding when to release the vaccine.
A lot is going across the world, from mounting pressure to secure a vaccine for the coronavirus to deal with concerning public awaiting vaccine, as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise worldwide.
A Russian vaccine that had been given a shot for public use earlier in a month, without undergoing the mandatory third phase of human trials, has faced intense criticism.
President Donald Trump has been urging health officials to work harder and faster to approve a vaccine. He said it was possible that a vaccine might be available before the November 3 Presidential election. Most health experts say it’s unlikely that a vaccine could be proven safe that soon for the public use.
World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus said that although a vaccine will be a “vital tool” in containing the spread of Covid-19 disease, it won’t end the pandemic on its own.
On Friday, at a press conference, Tedros said, “A vaccine will be a vital tool, and we hope that we will have one as soon as possible. But there is no guarantee that we will, and even if we do have a vaccine, it won’t end the pandemic on its own.”
While emphasizing on every individual role in containing the spread of coronavirus, he urged the governments and people to pay more attention on individual and societal health, Tedros said some things will need to change permanently.
He said, “the pandemic is a reminder that health and economy are inseparable. WHO is committed to working with all countries to move into a new stage of opening their economies, societies, schools and businesses safely. To do that, every single person must be involved, every single person can make a difference.”