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UW, Johns Hopkins University bring experts together to discuss future of COVID-19 vaccine

Medical experts are meeting Tuesday to discuss a plan to help with the global distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and keep the vaccine free of political interference.

SEATTLE — The University of Washington and Johns Hopkins University is bringing together experts to discuss how to move forward with coronavirus vaccine trials. The group hopes to put forth a concise plan for protecting the scientific integrity of the trials.

Tuesday’s virtual symposium called "Preserving the Scientific Integrity of Getting to COVID-19 Vaccines: From Clinical Trials to Public Allocation" begins at 10:30 a.m. PT.

The event will feature more than a dozen doctors, including global leaders in vaccine science, Michael Bloomberg who will speak on behalf of Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the nation's leading infection disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

Experts will discuss three main topics over the more than three-hour event:

  • The science and structure of the U.S. government's COVID-19 vaccine trial program
  • Protecting scientific integrity in the design and conduct of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy trials
  • Regulatory integrity and the assessment of vaccine safety and efficacy

The event is happening after a report that the White House blocked new Food and Drug Administration guidelines on bringing potential vaccines for COVID-19 to market that would almost certainly have prevented their approval before the Nov. 3 election.

“The trials must be—and must be seen to be—free of political interference, carried out with the highest scientific and ethical rigor, and allowed to proceed until the safety and efficacy of each candidate vaccine has been thoroughly assessed,” a description of the symposium says on the Johns Hopkins University website. “The ultimate goal is global distribution of and equitable access to effective vaccines that can help slow, and eventually end, the pandemic.”

Event organizers said there will not be time for an audience question and answer session. A recording of the discussion will be available on YouTube.