Energy & Commerce Committee Holds Virtual Hearing on COVID-19 Vaccine

Energy & Commerce Committee Holds Virtual Hearing on COVID-19 Vaccine

On September 30, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee (of the Energy & Commerce (E&C) Committee) held a virtual hearing (Pathway to a Vaccine: Ensuring a Safe and Effective Vaccine People Will Trust) with public health experts on the continued oversight of the development and safety of potential COVID-19 vaccines. Key witnesses from the hearing included:

  • Helene Gayle, M.D., M.P.H., Co-Chair, Committee on Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
  • Ashish K. Jha, Dean, M.D., M.P.H., Dean, School of Public Health, Brown University
  • Ali S. Kahn, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., Dean, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Director, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University
  • Paul A. Offit, M.D., Director, Vaccine Education Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia


The E&C website contains the videos from the hearing. The key takeaways from the hearing include:

  • There are many safeguards in place for a COVID-19 vaccine approval process;
  • All the guardrails in place should make it difficult to politicize the COVID-19 vaccine approval process;
  • The emergency use authorization process is similar to full approval;
  • Unlike Russia and China, the United States is only going to approve or authorize COVID-19 vaccines with large phase 3 clinical trials that meet high safety and efficacy standards;
  • No corners are being cut; and
  • States are not able to replicate FDA’s gold standard of vaccine review.



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