Coronavirus vaccine researchers work to maintain transparency, build public trust around vaccine

Coronavirus

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Doctors and researchers say creating a coronavirus vaccine is only half the battle. The other is getting people to actually take it.

It’s why companies like Moderna and Pfizer are responding to calls to be more transparent about their processes and protocols. There are several trials happening now to develop a coronavirus vaccine, including a Pfizer study in Memphis.

“We do know from prior experiences that finding a vaccine will shorten the duration of the pandemic. It will decrease the number of lives lost,” said Dr. Lora McGill, lead principal investigator.

Knowing a vaccine can help, there’s a push for the companies making them to be more forthcoming how they’re doing it.

“The information that we have is available on public websites, which is required by the FDA and NIH for anybody doing clinical trials. I believe they’re as transparent as they can be,” McGill said.

Researchers say it’s going to be important to have the public’s trust in any vaccine produced for it to truly be effective.

“I do believe there’s a bigger emphasis or a bigger amount of fear right now with people being a little distrustful,” McGill said.

It’s why researchers say releasing clear and consistent information will make a difference.

“I think people need to understand if something is going wrong, we’re going to stop and take a look at it, and there’s more than one person or group taking a look at it,” McGill said.

Researchers say this process won’t stop, even when a vaccine is released.

“What’s going to be incredibly important is to really understand the complications people see over time and to report those,” said Dr. Scott Strome, vice chancellor of clinical affairs for UT Health Science Center.

But simply having a vaccine is a critical first step.

“We have to recognize that this is a process that has to happen. Gradually more and more people will be won over,” Strome said.

There are 250 people participating in the Pfizer study through CNS healthcare, they are still looking for participants. You can click here to learn more or call (901) 843-1045.

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