Merck CEO Frazier… On Vaccine Prospects — And Reality….
July 25, 2020

Here’s a sober look, from someone in a position to actually know about the science — and policy considerations — as to what’s ahead for any COVID-19 vaccine candidate. [That said, I still like the Moderna vaccine candidate’s chances. Smile.]

Here’s the Fierce Pharma piece, from a few days ago — and a bit:

. . . .Frazier said officials are doing a “grave disservice” to the public by talking up the potential for vaccines later this year. There are massive scientific and logistical obstacles to achieving such a feat, he said.

“What worries me the most is that the public is so hungry, is so desperate to go back to normalcy, that they are pushing us to move things faster and faster,” Frazier said. “Ultimately, if you are going to use a vaccine in billions of people, you’d better know what that vaccine does.”

On the scientific front, Frazier brought up the fact that it typically takes several years or longer to develop vaccines. Merck won approval for its mumps vaccine after four years of research and development, a record, and it took five and a half years to score an approval for Merck’s Ebola vaccine. . . .

I might gently counter Mr. Frazier’s last obsevations, by mentioning that Ebola to this very day, has remained a half-a-globe away — largely confined to a corner of the globe many white Americans never give a second thought about (if we are being honest, here, on the “confronting systemic US racism” front). This time, it is local — though not as lethal — and it is crashing the US economic engine. Now you know. . . . grinning, under a clear night sky.