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07.05.2020 Health

Covid-19: Fast-tracking Vaccine Approval Won’t Compromise Safety – FDA Assures

Covid-19: Fast-tracking Vaccine Approval Won’t Compromise Safety – FDA Assures
LISTEN MAY 7, 2020

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has assured that it will not compromise the safety of Ghanaians should the need arise to fast track a vaccine for covid-19.

Vaccines are normally expected to take between 10 and 15 years to develop because any new medical treatment needs to be thoroughly tested for safety before distribution.

But there have been cases where vaccines were developed in significantly less time like the mumps vaccine which took four years and is widely considered the fastest vaccine approval in the history of infectious disease.

The novel coronavirus is being met with a level of urgency that the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Delese Mimi Darko, admits could lead to some steps in the approval process for vaccines being truncated.

But an emphasis on speed will not be at the expense of patient safety and “sound science”, she added when speaking on Citi TV’s The Point of View.

“For the FDA and most regulatory authorities, patient safety is paramount so even if any processes are truncated safety of the patient would have to be monitored through that process.”

“We would have to get to a place where we are sure that the vaccine is okay to go into humans and once that vaccine is going into humans, the safety is monitored all the time.”

“So we will strictly monitor the safety and we will only do that if safety can be assured,” Ms. Darko stated.

There are currently over 110 coronavirus vaccines being tested with a few reportedly already in clinical trials.

Ghana is yet to partake in any testing process for vaccines.

The continent of Africa is also yet to produce any vaccine.

Professor William Ampofo, the head of Virology at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research has in the past lamented that Africa represents 14 percent of the world’s population but has less than 0.1 percent of the world’s vaccine production.


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