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Thursday, September 24, 2020

US skeptical of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine safety

US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says it’s important to have transparent data on the vaccine to prove its safety and efficacy.

By: AP | Taipai | August 11, 2020 7:35:27 pm
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, right, and Taiwan former Vice President Chen Chien-jen wave before Azar delivering speech at National Taiwan University College of Public Health in Taipei, Taiwan Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. Azar arrived in Taiwan on Sunday in the highest-level visit by an American Cabinet official since the break in formal diplomatic relations between Washington and Taipei in 1979. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says it’s more important to have a safe and effective vaccine against the coronavirus than to be the first to produce a vaccine.

Azar, on a visit to Taiwan, was asked by ABC on Tuesday what he thought of Russia’s announcement that it had become the first country to register a vaccine against the virus.

He says, “The point is not to be first with a vaccine. The point is to have a vaccine that is safe and effective for the American people and the people of the world.” He says it’s important to have transparent data on the vaccine to prove its safety and efficacy. He also noted that the US has six vaccines in development under the Operation Warp Speed initiative.

The US has the highest death and case count in the world, with more than 163,000 deaths and over 5 million cases.

Meanwhile, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway expressed skepticism about the testing backing up Russia’s claim that it has developed a Covid-19 vaccine.

“The US standards are so much more stringent,” Conway said Tuesday on Fox “Fox & Friends.” “Our FDA in our country sets the standards and what I understand from the Russia announcement is this is nowhere near where we are.”

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