(CNN)- The head of the Federal Drug Administration may consider allowing a COVID vaccine to be put on the market before finishing Phase 3 clinical trials and that is troubling some health experts. More than six million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, more than 183,000 have died.
As the virus continues to spread around the world, the race is on to develop a vaccine. “We all want a vaccine out as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, Director of Harvard Global Institute.
In the U.S., two vaccines are currently in Phase 3 clinical trials, the step that determines whether a vaccine is effective and safe or not. Now, the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Stephen Hahn is saying the agency may allow drug makers to put those vaccines on the market before finishing clinical trials.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Hahn said the FDA might be willing to grant an emergency use authorization or even an approval if a vaccine maker applies for one and if the FDA agrees. But experts are concerned about rushing a vaccine to market before clinical trials are complete.
“If you’re going to give it to millions of people who are otherwise healthy you have to have a much higher bar, and so what I would like to see is really robust data, ideally a full review before we go ahead and authorize any kind of a vaccine,” said Dr. Jha.
However, there’s another challenge drug makers and health experts will face. A recent CNN poll shows that 40% of Americans say they wouldn’t get a vaccine even if it was available.
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