02 Aug Q&A: UW’s Jonathan Temte on status of a coronavirus vaccine and how it will be distributed
If anyone in Wisconsin was poised to play a part in the coronavirus pandemic, it was Jonathan Temte. A physician and associate dean with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Temte is also an expert in vaccine and immunization policy who sat on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for eight years and is currently a member of the ACIP COVID-19 Vaccine Work Group, a panel that will help inform the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determine how a COVID-19 vaccine will be deployed.
While the federal government has spent billions in an unprecedented effort to fast-track a vaccine that could be approved in just a few months, the rollout will be fraught with moral, ethical and political issues. Who gets it first? Who wants it? And who doesn’t?
And what if another nation beats us to it, like China? How cooperative would that nation be after the cudgeling it’s getting from President Donald Trump’s administration?
Temte talked about those issues and more in with the Cap Times last week:
The development of a vaccine is moving ahead at lightning speed, with some predicting that one could be approved as early as October. From a safety standpoint, is that too fast?
My gut sense is that in the vetting process for any COVID-19 vaccine there’s going to be a high level of scrutiny for safety. So far everything has been progressing very appropriately through these Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials. And the Food and Drug administration has final say in working with the manufacturers in how to set up clinical trials, how to interpret the data and ultimately the FDA has to look at the data and accept that and determine that it’s appropriate. I have a lot of confidence in the vaccine safety infrastructure in this country.