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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

As top US official visits Taiwan, he says vaccine production is not a race

Top US official says vaccine production is not a race to be first

MANILA – U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the fight against COVID-19 is important.

Speaking from Taiwan in a telephone interview with international journalists, Secretary Azar said it is important to provide safe, effective vaccines with all its data expected to be transparent.

Mr. Azar was referring to claims by Russian President Vladimir Putin they have produced a vaccine to which Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte volunteered to be among the first participants in its field trials.

“The United States commitment through our historic Operation Warp Speed effort and through the Food and Drug Administration is that any vaccine will be proven to be safe and effective in ethical clinical trials, and the data will be made transparently available and reviewed by outside experts,” he explained.

He underscored vaccine production “is not a race to be first.” Minister Azar said two of the six U. S. vaccines are now into phase three clinical trial several weeks ago while the Russian vaccine “is now only beginning and the data from the initial trials in Russia have not been disclosed, “it’s not transparent.”

Secretary Azar assured the international media that they will require any vaccine in the United States to be safe and effective and meet the FDA’s gold standard.

He said he visited Taiwan to express the United States’ deep partnership and friendship. He described Taiwan as “vibrant, democratic, open and has what he referred to as transparent governance and society.”

Secretary Azar said Taiwan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was “a success.” He also credited its other allies who did well in their strategies against the pandemic including Japan and the Republic of Korea. (Melo M. Acuña)

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. (U.S. Asia Pacific Media Hub photo)

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