(Reuters) - The rapid pace of COVID-19 vaccine development and scant information about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) vaccine review process are leading to concerns, the American Medical Association (AMA) said on Wednesday.
In a letter, the AMA urged the FDA to ensure transparency in the vaccine development process and keep physicians informed of the agency's plan for review of potential vaccine candidates. (bit.ly/32qMjAl)
Vaccine hesitancy among the public appears to be reaching unprecedented levels due to a number of factors including significant spread of misinformation through channels such as social media, according to the AMA.
Countries around the world are racing to develop a vaccine for the viral disease which has claimed more than 819,900 lives and infected nearly 23.9 million people globally, according to a Reuters tally.
In April, the U.S. government initiated Operation Warp Speed and has so far invested billions to secure doses of potential vaccines from across the world.
Warp Speed aims to expedite development of a vaccine and therapies to treat the novel coronavirus, and the emphasis on speed has provoked public anxiety about the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines.
Earlier this month, Russia became the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing. However, Western experts have warned against its use until all internationally approved testing and regulatory steps have been taken.
In August, top U.S. infectious disease official Anthony Fauci said the FDA was not cutting corners on safety in its review of vaccine candidates for COVID-19.
Reporting by Neha Malara and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.