Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) Executive Director Claire Hannan has issued the following statement regarding recent comments made across public health regarding COVID19 vaccine development and forthcoming distribution.
“While states, territories, and cities plan for distribution of potential COVID-19 vaccine(s), AIM continues to track progress on COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Before any vaccine is made available, it must completely meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety standards and receive a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)—an independent national advisory committee.
“Review of COVID-19 vaccine candidate data must take place in the public eye. Transparency is critical to build public confidence in the safety of successful vaccine candidates. Clinical trial data must be clearly communicated and openly shared with consumers in a format that is accessible to all Americans. Every American should receive equal opportunity to understand how vaccines are being tested; the racial, gender, and age makeup of study populations; and how key decisions are being made. The federal government should also highlight the systems that are in place to ensure ongoing monitoring of vaccine safety once COVID-19 vaccines are in use.
“The actions taken to produce, approve, distribute, and administer COVID-19 vaccine also impact confidence in all routinely recommended vaccines, such as MMR and influenza vaccines. We have a strong childhood vaccination program built upon parents’ confidence in vaccines. Lack of transparency around clinical trials and public uncertainty in the safety of forthcoming vaccines have the power to unravel the confidence in vaccination that has been built together by public health practitioners, medical providers, parents, and policymakers over the past several decades. We must take the necessary time to get this right. The last thing we need during the pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that vaccines can prevent.
“At this moment in time, the U.S. has the safest, most effective vaccines in our history. The same standards that have been utilized to help us reach this point must be met by COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Our families, friends, communities, states, territories, and the nation require nothing less.”
The Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) is a nonprofit membership association which supports the nation’s 64 federally-funded state, territorial, and local public health immunization programs. AIM works to enable immunization managers to work together to effectively prevent and control vaccine preventable diseases and improve immunization coverage in the United States and U.S. territories.