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Release Coronavirus Vaccine Before Efficacy Testing?

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Op-Ed

As the global surge in new coronavirus cases spreads throughout the world, scientists are racing to develop a vaccine to prevent its further growth.

As soon as China published the genetic code for the virus, five or six major drug companies moved aggressively to develop a vaccine.

They are having great success. Three companies — including a Chinese firm —have developed vaccines and moved immediately to human trials to test the safety of the drug, bypassing the usual animal testing process.

These trials take five to six weeks. Volunteers get a shot and, one month later, are checked to see if they have become infected.

After it is clear that the vaccine is safe, the process normally proceeds to “efficacy trials” to see if the shots work and confer immunity to the virus.

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The question before America will soon be: Shall we dispense with the efficacy testing?

The conventional scientists at the FDA may object to bypassing the efficacy tests. They will warn that some vaccines are not fully effective. They will want to wait until they know which shots work best.

But why should we wait? If we can confer some degree of immunity on tens of millions of people, let’s do it! As long as we are not hurting anyone and are fulfilling the Hippocratic Oath’s admonition to “first do no harm,” we should go full-speed ahead!

Please vote in this poll on whether or not you approve of mass distribution of a coronavirus vaccine after safety tests are complete but before efficacy tests can be made.

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Thanks !

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