COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Despite Gov. Mike DeWine delaying the state’s vaccine plan until Friday, many in the state are considering whether or not they’ll take it when it’s made available to them.
Less than a year after the first recorded case of COVID-19 in the U.S., there are concerns about what people feel was a “rushed vaccine process” to beat the pandemic.
“It seemed like it came quickly. It came quickly because they started manufacturing the vaccine during the experiment process,” said Dr. Nicholas Kman with the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.
A luxury that a fellow expert explains is the product of never-before seen financial investment in the cause.
“We have never infused this much money into the development of a vaccine,” Dr. Frederic Bertley, the CEO and President of COSI said.
Pfizer’s study will go to the FDA for review on December 10 and Moderna’s is set to soon follow.
“The actual steps of the study were not cut short,” Dr. Kman said.
Others wonder why it’s been approved in the U.K. prior to here the states.
“They don’t have our processes. We are much more stringent here. We do look at the summary data, but then we peel back the onion and look at every bit of data. Every bit of data,” Dr. Bertley said.
When the vaccine arrives in the coming weeks, healthcare systems like Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Hospital will administer it to caregivers who are most at risk of exposure.
“So, people that work in the Intensive Care Unit with COVID patients, people who work in COVID-exclusive units, or in the Emergency Department,” said Dr. Kman.
There are some logistical hoops to jump through.
“Working through employee health, you know, documenting that the vaccine has been received, scheduling the appointments, making sure the safety is monitored; it is quite complicated,” Dr. Kman said.
Employees will be given the option of taking the vaccine and not forced. Even for those with hesitations, experts say the FDA’s review process should put to bed hesitations about its safety.
“Rest assured the FDA will not approve something that is not safe by the standard criteria for what is safe,” said Dr. Bertley.
So, what does a COVID-19 vaccine mean for medicine going forward?
“These are new technologies and we’ve never seen, like, 95% efficacy off the bat. These are staggeringly exciting numbers for vaccine technology, and science and technology in general,” said Dr. Bartley.
He believes it could help lead to new vaccines for other long-time viruses.
“You bet they’re going to take that stuff and say, ‘hey can we finally make an HIV vaccine out of this technology? Maybe that’s the secret sauce we’ve been missing.'”