But is it a vaccine we can trust?

Courtesy of CBS News:

As countries race to secure an effective vaccine for the coronavirus, the Trump administration announced it is partnering with drugmaker AstraZeneca for at least 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and committing up to $1.2 billion to the effort.

President Trump has sought to expedite the development of a coronavirus vaccine through Operation Warp Speed, as many public health officials have said that a return to normalcy in the U.S. would rest on the widespread availability of a vaccine to protect against the virus. Mr. Trump said last week Operation Warp Speed aims to make millions of doses of a vaccine available by the end of 2020.

Through its partnership with AstraZeneca, the Department of Health and Human Services can provide up to $1.2 billion to speed up development and manufacturing of the coronavirus vaccine called AZD1222, with the first doses delivered as early as October, the health agency said.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called the administration’s deal with AstraZeneca a “major milestone” in the Operation Warp Speed initiative.

Now I am totally on board with the development of a vaccine to protect us from the Coronavirus, but I also remember Azar saying that it was not so important that the vaccine be safe or effective, so long as we have something with which to start injecting people.

My personal criteria is a little bit loftier than that. 

I actually want it to be safe and 100% effective before I let a Trump-led government start poking me with a needle. 

And I have to say calling it “Operation Warp Speed” does not exactly fill me with confidence.

And before you start calling me paranoid keep in mind that the administration allowed testing kits to come to market without FDA approval, and this is what we ended up with. 

Courtesy of ABC News

A number of commercially available COVID-19 antibody tests, which look at a patient’s blood for signs of past infection, did not pass Mayo Clinic quality screening or meet their expectations for use, researchers from the hospital concluded in a joint investigation by the clinic and ABC News.

One rapid finger-prick test even wrongly displayed a positive result for antibodies after researchers decided to use a saline-like solution, instead of a blood sample, to see what happened. An automatic fail, doctors said.

“Clearly there had been a mistake in how that kit was constructed,” said Dr. Thomas Grys, the director of microbiology at Mayo Clinic who tested the rapid test kits, which typically rely on a finger prick and a drop of blood to return results in 15 minutes. Grys said the Mayo Clinic alerted the manufacturer of the test kit of the problem and by Thursday, they had a “reformulated” version that appeared to correct the mistake with the saline-like solution. The researchers are still testing the kits’ overall accuracy.

So yeah, I would like vaccines to be held to a much higher standard. 

I mean after all people’s lives are at stake.