Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said he understands why people are skeptical about the fast-tracked vaccine timeline, but he wants people to know he thinks political pressure is “irrelevant.”
Speaking during the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) briefing on Thursday, Bourla said political pressure is “irrelevant” because “we will never, ourselves, submit for authorization or approval of any vaccine before we feel that it is safe and effective.”
“I understand they are skeptical,” Bourla said, but added “we will not cut corners.”
A the same briefing, Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) CEO Kenneth Frazier said vaccine confidence is a critical issue.
“We have seen, in the wake of the pandemic, that vaccinations for diseases like measles have fallen off – in part because people are worried about the safety of vaccines in general,” he said.
Frazier thinks “at the end of the day, the important thing for us to do, is to reinforce to the public our commitment to safety as the number one thing.”
Yes, companies need to “move with urgency” he said, “but we will not sacrifice safety under any set of circumstances.”
Like Bourla, Frazier said Merck “will not submit for approval … any vaccine candidate before we have a quantum of proof through phase three studies” about the safety and efficacy in a large population.