Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease specialist, questioned the fast-track approach last week. “I do hope that the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing a vaccine before they are administering the vaccine to anyone, because claims of having a vaccine ready to distribute before you do testing I think is problematic at best,” he said.
Offering an unsafe compound to medical workers on the front lines of the outbreak could make things worse, Georgetown’s Gostin said, adding: “What if the vaccine started killing them or making them very ill?”
In 2019, the WHO considered the 2015 vaccine along with several others for use in Congo but didn’t pick it. It pointed out that it had been approved for emergency use after Phase 1 and 2 trials, but not Phase 3. According to ClinicalTrials.Gov, a website maintained by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, a study among 2,000 people in Guinea and Russia was still ongoing last month.