Ethicists argue for prioritizing safety over speed in pushing for coronavirus vaccine approvals

cta
Credit: Unsplash
[W]ithin six months of SARS-CoV-2 appearing on the scene, over 140 vaccine candidates are in the pipeline and clinical trials are on for more than 20 such candidates… Nevertheless, proper testing will take time even if the developers follow the accelerated testing plans approved by the World Health Organisation and the US Food and Drug Administration.

The Indian Council of Medical Research’s ambitious target of readying the indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech, Hyderabad, for public release within 42 days needs to be seen in this context.

One of the essential preconditions for initiating a clinical trial is to get permission from an institute ethics committee that scrutinises the trial protocol. This can take time because the investigators have to convince the ethics panel on the trial protocol.

ADVERTISEMENT

“You can’t ask an ethics panel to give approval within a pre-fixed date. The ethics committee needs time to look at the protocol. I understand that the ethics panel at AIIMS Delhi (one of the 12 sites for the trial) has raised several queries on the Covaxin trial protocol, and rightly so,” said [bioethicist] Anant Bhan.

Related article:  Indian scientists call out anti-GMO groups trying to block insect-resistant Bt eggplant safety field trials
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

“India should do proper testing for both safety and efficacy. There are many ethical considerations that come up in fast-tracked trials. It’s best to avoid such fast-tracking. We should have a global outlook and be global leaders in vaccine development and manufacture. Cutting corners will undermine our credibility,” [says virologist Shahid Jameel.]

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
seralinistud

Gilles-Éric Séralini: Activist professor and face of anti-GMO industry

The French biologist and his research team--funded by the Rodale ...
vandana shiva

Vandana Shiva: ‘Rock Star’ of GMO protest movement has anti-science history

In a 2012 interview, Bill Moyers referred to Vandana Shiva as ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend