US Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams has pledged he will get the first coronavirus vaccine approved for emergency use when told it is safe.
During an interview on Good Morning America on Monday, Adams was asked about a recent Gallup poll, which found that more than 40 percent of people are unwilling to be immunized against the virus that has killed more than 256,000 Americans.
He said he has been traveling around the country reassuring the public that researchers did not safety corners when developing the jab.
‘[T]he most reassuring thing I can say to you, America, is that when [the US Food and Drug Administration] tells me that I can get the vaccine, I will get it because I know that’s the best way to protect myself and to protect my family and my community,’ he said.
It comes as AstraZeneca became the latest drug company to report positive results from early data of its vaccine trial, raising hopes that several inoculations may be approved soon.
US Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams says he plans to get the first coronavirus vaccine approved when health officials declare it is safe
Adams said that typical vaccine trials only have about 5,000 people in them before approval but coronavirus vaccine trials have 30,000 to 60,000, meaning there will be more data on COVID-19 immunizations than any other vaccine in history
It comes the same day Oxford and AstraZeneca announced their joint shot against COVID-19 is up to 90% effective. Pictured: A participant is dosed in AstraZeneca’s vaccine trial
Last week, US-based companies Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc each reported positive preliminary results from late-stage trials showing their vaccines were about 95 percent efficacious.
And on Monday, a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford in the UK and manufactured by AstraZeneca was shown to be 90 percent effective.
The Pfizer and Moderna shots both use new technology known as messenger RNA (mRNA).
It works by tricking the body into producing some of the viral proteins, which the immune system then recognizes and builds a defensive response against.
Host Celia Vega asked a question from a user about how the general population can ensure they will be no or few side effects with mRNA jabs.
‘Normal studies only have about 5,000 people in them before a vaccine is approved,’ Adams said.
‘These studies have 30 to 60 thousand. These vaccines, at the point of being administered to the American public, will have more data than any other vaccine developed in history.’
Adams said it would be frustrating should a vaccine with 95 percent effectiveness be approved by the FDA, but few people take it.
Another Twitter user asked why two doses are need
‘For some of these, it takes multiple doses to get you where you need to be,’ he said.
He added that Johnson & Johnson is currently working on a one-dose vaccine, which may increase the percentage of people who willing to receive the jab.
It comes as Oxford-AstraZeneca announced on Monday its coronavirus vaccine is up to 90 percent effective.
Adams said the news is exciting because it means three vaccines – including from Pfizer and Moderna (pictured) – may soon be approved for distribution
Unlike the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, the AstraZeneca shot does not to be stored at freezing temperatures, which will make distribution easier.
‘I think these are really exciting results,’ Dr Andrew Pollard, chief investigator for the trial, said.
‘Because the vaccine can be stored at fridge temperatures, it can be distributed around the world using the normal immunization distribution system. And so our goal…to make sure that we have a vaccine that was accessible everywhere, I think we’ve actually managed to do that.’
In addition, the UK vaccine is cheaper.
AstraZeneca, which has pledged to not make a profit off any jab, has set a price at about $2.50 a dose.
Pfizer’s vaccine has an estimated of $19.50 per shot while Moderna will charge governments between $25 and $37 per dose depending on how many are orders.
All three shots must be approved by the FDA before they can be widely distributed.
‘I’m just excited that now we have three vaccines out there because when you’re trying to immunize the entire planet, we want to have as many different tools in our arsenal as possible,’ Adams said.