Some important points in a probably-futile plea for sanity in #covid19 #vaccine discussions:

1. American drug pricing provides a powerful incentive to *most* medical R&D (I’ve been in this industry a long time - that point is not up for debate) h/t @CliffordAsness
2. That profit incentive doesn’t work well for novel vaccine development, however, because (a) the technologies take years to develop, (b) we go decades between pandemics, and (c) public health needs/scrutiny necessitate low pricing and slow recouping of manufacturing buildout
3. That means governments and non-profits MUST provide #vaccine research funding and support for years when it’s not popular or sexy (thank you @CEPIvaccines, @gavi, @WHO, @gatesfoundation, @NIH, @NIAIDFunding, and the UK, US, and Norwegian governments among others) 🙌🏼
4. Every single #covid19 #vaccine being tested today is based on scientific knowledge and technological innovations gained over 15+ years of research funded by global health organizations, large pharma companies, AND private investors (yes, you need all 3)
5. Operation Warp Speed provided meaningful help to some vaccine efforts, but not all. Moderna, as a small company, was able to ramp manufacturing in parallel with clinical trials due to OWS funds. Pfizer otoh had the capital to take no OWS funds and avoid any political conflict.
6. Operation Warp Speed is likely to have a much bigger impact on vaccine distribution than it did on vaccine development

7. The rest of the world has coordinated/funded a similar effort to OWS called COVAX (this is a meaningful, but not uniquely American, effort)
8. THIS IS IMPORTANT: How were we able to develop these vaccines so quickly?

Reason 1/4:

SCIENTIFIC ADVANCES - we had animal models developed in response to SARS, we got the genetic code quickly, & RNA technology was ready for prime time, thanks to the support mentioned above
8. THIS IS IMPORTANT: How were we able to develop these vaccines so quickly?

Reason 2/4:

REGULATORY PRIORITIZATION - the FDA stopped a lot of other work to eliminate wait times for vaccine development and review (but they did NOT change the amount of research/data required)
8. THIS IS IMPORTANT: How were we able to develop these vaccines so quickly?

Reason 3/4:

RISK TAKING FROM BIG PHARMA, GOVERNMENTS, AND PRIVATE INVESTORS - this paid for expensive manufacturing build-outs before we if knew the vaccines even worked, eliminating months of delay
8. THIS IS IMPORTANT: How were we able to develop these vaccines so quickly?

Reason 4/4:

9. Notice what’s missing from the last list? Politicians and pundits. 🤦🏼‍♀️ President Trump was wrong to claim credit for the years-long, international efforts of scientists, NGOs, and companies/investors. Gov. Cuomo was wrong to blame profit incentive & “rushed” regulatory approval
10. These vaccines are safe. They are necessary. And they are a huge triumph of science, innovation, and global cooperation. 🔬🥳🏆 Please don’t let the ego-driven rants of politicians who don’t understand science diminish this incredible accomplishment. 🙏🏼
11. There’s more discussion on this topic and other pandemic-related concerns in this (I must say, super fun) podcast with the women of @TheBlack_Swans, including the brilliant @shanas621
12. For the love of god, please mute politicians & pundits on this #pandemic & listen to actual experts. There are many brilliant ones to follow, but here’s a short list to start with:

BONUS POINT: We now have safer, faster-to-develop-and-make RNA vaccines because a brilliant female scientist who immigrated to the US from Hungary spent *15 YEARS* persevering in the face of grant rejections, visa issues, and other setbacks. @kkariko is a modern day superhero 🤩
AND ANOTHER ONE: This Hungarian immigrant to the US’s innovations are being turned into vaccines by 4 companies:

1. Moderna - an American company founded by a Canadian scientist, funded by a Lebanese born VC of Armenian descent, and run by a French executive
2. BioNTech - a German company founded and run by Turkish immigrants, funded by a Norwegian NGO, and partnered with a US pharma company run by a Greek executive
3. CureVac - a German company co-founded by a French trained Italian scientist who now works in Switzerland, chaired by a Belgian royal, and funded by the Norwegian and German governments along with the EC
4. Translate Bio - a American company spun out of combined German and Dutch R&D divisions bought by a UK drug company that was themselves bought by a Japanese pharma company and is now partnered with a French pharma company run by a British executive 🤯
Good science doesn’t care about political party. It doesn’t care about borders or nationalities or races or genders. And it doesn’t care about winners and losers. It just cares about advancing knowledge with integrity and purpose. Maybe we could all take a lesson. 🤷🏼‍♀️ /endrant 🙈

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