Perspectives: The Safety and Practicality of COVID-19 Vaccine Development

Headline Roundup October 13th, 2020

Two COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine development trials, from healthcare firms Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, have been paused in recent days due to reported adverse reactions among test subjects. Both development processes were in the final stages; such pauses are reportedly common in large-scale medical trials and studies. The news was accompanied by opinions expressed on each side about the coronavirus vaccine development process, the dire nature of the pandemic, and the politicization of the overall situation.

Some voices on the left expressed skepticism about the apparently rapid process, urging caution and criticizing the president for allegedly weaponizing health and science for political purposes. Tuesday morning, Republicans Reps. Brett Guthrie (Ky.) and Larry Bucshon (Ind.) penned an op-ed in The Hill highlighting how vaccine developers and the Trump administration are purportedly working in close partnership to adhere to safety and minimize risks while producing a viable vaccine as fast as possible.

From the Center
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A late-stage study of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been paused while the company investigates whether a study participant’s “unexplained illness” is related to the shot.

The company said in a statement Monday evening that illnesses, accidents and other so-called adverse events “are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies,” but that its physicians and a safety monitoring panel would try to determine what might have caused the illness.

The pause is at least the second such hold to occur among several vaccines that have...

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From the Right
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OPINION

All of our lives have been drastically impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and we know all of us are eager to return to the way things were before the pandemic began. However, that simply won’t be possible without a safe, effective vaccine. Fortunately, due to the strength of American innovation and unprecedented public-private partnerships, a COVID-19 vaccine is on the horizon. We, as the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee and a physician on the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, have...

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From the Left
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OPINION

The coronavirus pandemic has upended lives and disrupted the global economy. The sooner we can get a vaccine, the sooner we have a chance at returning to normal. That doesn’t mean we should needlessly rush it.

Vaccine development and approval normally takes several years, but it has been squeezed into a period of less than year. In Donald Trump’s America, that’s not soon enough -- but there is a way to speed things up even further. The Food and Drug Administration, as the gatekeeper for any new medicine coming to...

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