Senate Committee to host hearing on vaccine safety on Wednesday

Posted at 8:47 AM, Sep 09, 2020

The Senate on Wednesday will hold a hearing regarding the safety of vaccines, which will feature appearances by Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams and National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins.

The hearing, hosted by the Senate HELP Committee, will discuss the role of vaccines in preventing infectious disease outbreaks and protecting public health.

Wednesday's hearing will also include information on a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Top U.S. health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci say they are cautiously optimistic that there will be enough evidence to grant Emergency Use Authorization to top vaccine candidates by the end of 2020. However, recent polls indicate that some Americans remain skeptical about vaccines.

A recent CBS News poll indicates that just 21% of American voters would receive a COVID-19 if one were made available at no cost. That's down from about 30% earlier this year. Two-thirds of those polled say they feel a vaccine would be "rushed" if a vaccine were made available this year.

Fauci has said that if a potential vaccine is 75% effective against the virus, it still may not be effective in promoting inoculation levels necessary for "herd immunity" in the U.S. due to Americans' ongoing skepticism about vaccines.

Nine vaccine makers banded together to sign a pledge on Tuesday to say that they will not seek Emergency Use Authorization for their vaccine candidates until scientific methods prove they are safe for widespread use.

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