Tim Lugo: The vaccine data presented to date suggests that they’re extremely safe. You know, injection site reactions, flu-like symptoms, those are the most common side- effects we’re seeing. They are also incredibly effective remember, you know, 95% effective and any vaccine, any drug, any therapy that is extremely effective is going to have some side-effects. However, data presented to date and the longer-term data from the Phase I-II patients continues to suggest that it’s extremely clean.
There, you know, I understand, you know, these were developed extremely quickly. That’s because this is the Manhattan Project of our time. You know this is the medical equivalent of that. These vaccines were developed in under a year. We’ve only known the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 since late January. First patients were dosed in March and here we are in December dosing healthcare workers and the elderly, so that’s incredible. That is, that’s an amazing feat for the industry and for these developers and also for the regulators. And really the underlying technology deployed by Pfizer and Moderna enabled that rapid development, specifically mRNA-based vaccines.
We’re going to have 70,000 patients that were dosed between the two initial Phase III studies. That safety data goes out to two months. That’s important because for these type of vaccines, most of the side effects occur within the first two months and, listen, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. You know, we’re not waiting for one year, five years of safety data. Because, you know, 80, 90% of all side effects occur within the first two months, I think the FDA made a very reasonable cut-off line that we need two months of safety for those 70,000 Phase III patients before these developers could file for regulatory approval.
Overall I’d say they’re extremely safe from at least what I’ve seen. And what we know isn’t safe is a pandemic. I’m very much supportive of vaccines. I’ll be vaccinate, vaccinated myself as soon as possible. And, you know, I, you know, I, I think the vaccines are how we get back to a sense of normalcy.
I’m personally more concerned about the overall kind of vaccine hesitancy being seen in the public. You know I think that probably lessens over, you know, as kind of family members are dosed and, you know, as there’s, you know, relatively benign side effects seen personally between family members and friends. However, I am kind of concerned around just how we communicate in, you know, public health issues these days.
So, yes, it is a quickly evolving situation. However, I just, you know, really wanted to reiterate how impressive the development of these vaccines has been to date. I’m very impressed with how the whole biotech sectors stepped up and really, you know, have done a great job in what will eventually be a return to normal by the end of 2021.