Vaccine Makers Keep Safety Details Quiet, Alarming Scientists - (The New York Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Independent scientists and public health experts are pushing drugmakers to be far more open about how COVID-19 vaccine trials are run in order to reassure Americans who are wary about getting a coronavirus vaccine, reported The New York Times.

  • "Trust is in short supply," commented Harlan Krumholz, a cardiologist and healthcare researcher at Yale University, "and the more that they can share, the better off we are."

  • Last week, nine pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca and Pfizer, pledged to "stand with science" and rigorously vet any vaccine for the coronavirus, but researchers said that missing from the joint statement was a promise to share more critical details about their work with the public and the scientific community.

  • According to the news source, none of the three companies with coronavirus vaccines in advanced clinical trials in the US have made public the protocols and statistical analysis plans for those trials.

  • In some instances, key details about how the trials have been set up, such as at what points an independent board can review early study results, or under what conditions a trial could be stopped early, have not been made public.

  • "We've never had such an important clinical trial — or series of clinical trials — in recent history," remarked Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, and a longtime expert on clinical trials, adding "everything should be transparent."

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