5 vaccine experts reveal info prior taking coronavirus vaccine - Experts who have studied viruses and vaccines for decades do not agree on when the coronavirus vaccine will be given.
The drug manufacturers behind the top candidates for the COVID-19 vaccine expect conclusive results by the end of this year, even this October, to show whether injections prevent the disease. These final Studies, called Phase Three trials, are recruiting tens of thousands of volunteers to determine whether these experimental vaccines exceed the placebo group.
But it is not clear how complete the data will be. In interviews with five vaccine and virology experts, Business Insider asked how they planned to evaluate the data and ultimately decide whether they themselves would receive the vaccine.
Some are confident they would get vaccinated if U.S. regulators determine it is safe and effective and recommend it for their age group. Although they generally expect the vaccine to be highly effective, they say they would also settle for a less effective injection, more in line with the seasonal flu vaccine, which may be 50% effective in some years.
Others want more specific data that represents their demographics or long-term follow-up results for safety and effectiveness.
5 vaccine experts reveal info prior taking coronavirus vaccine
This is what it would take to make five infectious disease experts feel safe to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
1 virologist Richard Condit: "I will trust the people who carry out the trials"
Richard Condit has been studying viruses for several decades in the laboratory.
Although he is well versed in virology and Infectious Diseases, his main experience is not the development of vaccines. That leads him to trust the scientists most involved in these vaccines, he says.
"I'm going to trust the people who run the trials," he says. "If they say that we have enough disease in the control group so that we can statistically say that this is a certain acceptable level of efficacy, and we have not seen significant adverse effects, I will probably go for it."
The 72-year-old retired virologist says he is closely monitoring signs of political pressure in vaccine decisions. Condit says he trusts pharmaceutical companies, along with scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, but not the Trump administration.
"I trust what [Trump] would call the' Deep State, '" he notes.
"I'm not saying I'm going to get the vaccine without reservations," Condit admits. "There's a bit of nervousness associated with that, but I'm 72 years old. I'm very healthy, but by age I'm in a group that has a sufficiently high risk... There is a high probability that the benefit of being vaccinated exceeds the risk of getting the disease."
Condit believes that ideally a coronavirus vaccine would have an effectiveness of 80 or 90%. But he would also receive one that was less effective but still useful, such as one that reduced the chance of contracting COVID - 19 by 50%.
"If I can get a vaccine that reduces my chances of getting this disgusting disease by 50%, I will get it," he says, adding that a vaccine with a 50% effectiveness "is probably a temporary measure that makes us safer but not completely safe."
2 microbiologist Deborah Fuller thinks the vaccine is a societal decision, not an individual decision
Deborah Fuller, a microbiologist at the University of Washington, says she thinks about getting vaccinated differently than most.
As a vaccine developer, she often thinks about getting vaccinated for the benefit of the general population, rather than thinking about whether getting vaccinated will benefit them. An effective vaccine will help build herd immunity and ultimately protect society from disease. Although he points out that he would love a vaccine to be highly effective in preventing the disease, he would also like to receive a vaccine that is moderately effective.
"I would be fine with a vaccine that was 50% effective, and I would get it if it was available," Fuller says.
He adds that a vaccine could be an important benefit if it reduced the severity of the disease, even if it meant that people vaccinated could end up becoming infected and sick to some degree.
"People think it's something in black and white, that if I get a vaccine I won't get sick at all," Fuller warns, adding that the reality is more nuanced.
Although people might get angry if they get vaccinated and still end up experiencing the disease, Fuller says they may not get as sick as they would have done without the vaccine.
3 Jesse Goodman, an FDA scientist, wants to " look at the real data and make a decision
Jesse Goodman, former chief scientist of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says he wants to review the data before making a final decision.
"If I saw a vaccine that was clearly effective in a large Phase Three trial, and thought the evidence was convincing and there were no safety signs that bothered me, I would probably move on," reflects Goodman, now director of Georgetown University's Center for access, safety and Medical Product Management.
Goodman emphasizes the importance of trial results in peer-reviewed journals and their presentation at public meetings such as FDA advisory committee meetings. He says pharmaceutical companies often highlight positive results and minimize any negative findings in press releases.
"As an expert in infectious diseases and vaccines, I'm going to want to see the real data and make a decision," he adds.
4 the inventor of a vaccine, Paul Offit: "I want to make sure that my group is represented
The results of the study should show how safe and effective an experimental vaccine is for people your age before Dr. Paul Offit is comfortable with the injection.
"I want to make sure my group is represented in the study," says Offit, director of the Center for Vaccine Education at Philadelphia Children's Hospital. "I'm over 65 years old. Has my group been properly studied, how effective is it and what do we know about safety?"
Offit says it expects the COVID-19 vaccine could reduce the chances of getting a moderate or severe disease by 70%. But "anything over 50% is a value," he says.
Offit is the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine and pediatrician at the children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He emphasizes that the choice is not between getting a vaccine and doing nothing.
A vaccine could be another valuable weapon against the virus, in addition to what we already have, such as social distancing and the use of masks.
"If you give me a choice between a 75% effective vaccine or being able to wear a mask while walking around the hospital, I choose the mask," Offit says.
5 biotechnology industry executive William Haseltine is much more reserved and concerned about long-term safety and effectiveness
Veteran biotech industry executive William Haseltine has a significantly more cautious outlook on a new vaccine than other experts.
Ensures you want to see long-term safety and durability data before you get vaccinated or recommend one to your family.
"When people ask me,' Are you going to get that vaccine Bill?'my answer is that I will wait a couple of years, Me and my family,' he says. "In the meantime, I will continue my life in the country."
Haseltine is a former Harvard Medical Professor. She founded two research centres focusing on HIV / AIDS and cancer in schools. The expert in virology and Infectious Diseases is now the president of Access Health International, a non-profit health expert group. He also founded and ran several biotechnology companies, including Human Genome Sciences, which was eventually bought by GlaxoSmithKline for $ 3 billion.
His main concern is theoretical. It is concerned that long-term follow-up data show that the protection of these vaccines is decreasing. In particular, it is concerned that it may leave people most vulnerable to infection and make the resulting disease more serious after receiving the vaccine.
Although this risk, commonly known as antibody-dependent improvement, has been seen in other experimental vaccines, recently against the dengue virus, there is no data to point to it as a problem for this new coronavirus.
Still, Haseltine insists that she wants to see long-term data before receiving the vaccine to calm her concerns.
"I don't know if it's going to improve the infection or if it's going to improve the disease," Haseltine warns. "And we won't know for a long time. The first thing is, yeah, we're gonna get some protection."
5 vaccine experts reveal info prior taking coronavirus vaccine