Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn says he is “100 percent” confident in the new COVID-19 vaccine.
During an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Hahn answered a few questions about the upcoming coronavirus vaccines, the pandemic itself, and more. Biden recently promised millions of vaccinations will be distributed to communities around the country with health care workers, frontline workers, and other essential staff members up in line first to receive the vaccination.
The FDA will be reviewing the two-part vaccinations. The first is from vaccine developer Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and Moderna developed the second vaccine.
One of the questions Hahn was asked was if there was anything that could stop the distribution of the vaccines and rescind its authorization. “Well, let me be clear, we do not expect that to happen. It’s one of the reasons that we asked for clear and compelling evidence of safety and efficacy. That being said, as with any medical product, not just this vaccine, the whole point of doing monitoring afterwards is if we do find issues related to efficacy or safety, we will revisit our decision,” he responded.
“As for older people, Hahn says there were several trials done to ensure elderly people and nursing home residents can receive the vaccine. We review what’s called line data, which is a line by line for the 44,000 subjects in the clinical trial. We’ve looked at subpopulations. For the question that you’re asking, we’ve looked at over 65, over 70, over 80. Very complicated data sets. Very complicated questions we’re asking.”
He says he and his family will definitely be getting the vaccination. “I have 100% confidence in (the agency’s) brilliant, world-class scientists and in the gold standard that the FDA is. And when appropriate, I’ll be first in line, and I will encourage my family to be in line as well.”