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How to Stymie Distribution of a Potentially Dangerous COVID-19 Vaccine
Medical Community Could Demand Independent Commission Before Distributing
As a result, there is a growing caucus within the medical community calling for an independent commission, free from bias, including pressure from the President - to review the safety and effectiveness of any vaccine before it is widely administered.
This comes in response to a statement that the FDA could consider emergency approval for a COVID-19 vaccine before phase three trials are complete, and a letter from the FDA suggesting that it might grant such an approval just prior to election day.
While pleas for an independent commission are unlikely to be effective at an agency which - unlike independent federal agencies such as the FCC, FTC, etc. - is headed by a commissioner who serves at the pleasure of the President and can be fired by him at any time, there is a way to protect the public from a possibly ineffective or even harmful vaccine, notes public health activist and expert John Banzhaf, a professor of public interest law.
Indeed, he points out that any physician, hospital, medical insurance company, or other entity which took part in administering a vaccine which had not been fully tested as it normally is through large scale phase three trials - and where there was reason to suspect that any premature FDA emergency authorization was rushed for political reasons and not based upon established medical testing procedures - could be held legally liable if a person receiving the vaccine suffered an adverse reaction (including coming down with COVID-19 as a direct result), or whose reasonable reliance on the vaccine caused them (e.g., hospital workers) to risk exposure to the virus which then turned out to be harmful if not deadly.
If one or more major medical organizations - such as the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, National Medical Association, etc. - were to announce that it would recommend that its members not administer any vaccine which had not fully completed phase three trials unless a responsible body independent of the federal government and the President had endorsed it, that announcement would probably force the FDA to permit such a review or effectively prevent premature distribution of a potentially deadly vaccine., argues Banzhaf.
The same result would probably occur if several of the major hospital chains, or large health insurance carriers, were to take the same position, he adds.