June 25, 2024

Urgency vs. Safety: The Rush for the Bird Flu Vaccines

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This article talks about how the U.S. government is nearing an agreement to fund a late-stage trial of Moderna’s mRNA bird flu vaccine through BARDA, potentially starting next month with tens of millions of dollars. This could mean a commitment to purchase vaccine doses if trials are successful. Pfizer is also developing an mRNA vaccine targeting bird flu and is in talks with the U.S. government. Public health officials have raised concerns about a potential bird flu pandemic, though the CDC still considers the public health risk “low.”

Editor’s Note: The U.S. government’s rush to fund late-stage trials of Moderna’s mRNA bird flu vaccine and the potential commitment to purchase vaccine doses raises significant concerns about how public health initiatives are prioritized. It seems like this accelerated approach to vaccine development is driven more by fearmongering than by a balanced evaluation of the actual risk. It is vital to recognize the lessons from the rapid deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, while speed can be beneficial, it should not come at the expense of thorough safety and efficacy evaluations.

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