Addressing concerns surrounding the speed at which Covid-19 vaccines and treatments were produced by pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla insisted that his company did not cut any corners to fast track the vaccine development.
Since discussions about the vaccine are happening on “political rather than on scientific terms”, Bourla claimed that people are confused about who and what to believe, AFP reported.
“I can imagine that in this case, because the products, the vaccines or the medicines are developed very fast that it is even worse because it has been severely politicised, particularly in the US,” he said at a recent virtual press conference hosted by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA).
Just as the United Kingdom became the first country in the world to launch a mass vaccination campaign using the new Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, Bourla said that people should not doubt the safety and effectiveness of the jab, AFP reported.
“We didn’t cut any corners,” he said. In an attempt to allay fears, he clarified that the vaccine had been tested just as thoroughly as any other vaccine the company has released in the past.
Due to the heavy scrutiny it was under, the vaccine was, in fact, tested with “even higher standards”, Bourla said. He stressed that regulators around the world “are being very careful” and pharmaceutical companies are trying their best to ensure that only safe and effective vaccines end up in the market, the AFP report stated.
For those who are still sceptical about getting inoculated against the disease, Bourla said, “I understand their concerns, but they need to think twice.”
“The decision to vaccinate, or not, is not affecting only your health. It is affecting the health of others, and likely the health of people you love,” he added. “If you don’t vaccinate you are becoming the weak link that will allow the virus to replicate.”
On Tuesday, World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesperson Margaret Harris said that the “effects of the vaccines in providing some kind of immune barrier is still far off.”