Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has expressed his stance on the ongoing development of the COVID-19 vaccine in the US, and said he will make sure the State re-examines any vaccine approved by the federal government.
Gov. Cuomo said, he will set up his own working committee to advise the NY state on any approved vaccine for the novel coronavirus by FDA, following concerns of a politicized vaccine approval process.
“Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion. New York state will have its own review when the federal government is finished with their review and says it’s safe,” Cuomo was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
As per the Gov.’s comment, the expert team will advise and devise and determine the vaccine approval and distribution plan for the state which he said will be a mammoth task thanks to the population.
Cuomo, a Democrat, has long criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic.
Recently, many health experts raised concerns over the FDA’s approval for hydroxychloroquine drugs for COVID-19 without enough evidence that it is effective. Questions were raised if the FDA was still independent of political influence.
The FDA was also mulling an under-development COVID-19 vaccine for emergency approval, drawing widespread criticism on Trump’s relentless and sometimes unscientific push to approve a vaccine before the November election.
“The way the federal government has handled the vaccine, there are now serious questions about whether or not the vaccine has become politicized,” Cuomo said.
Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration declined to comment on the New York governor’s remarks on Reuter’s request.
Reuters noted, while all the US states will come up with a distribution plan it would be unusual for each state to test the efficacy of the virus before approval.
A herculean operation
Cuomo on the Thursday press conference said distributing the vaccine in New York would be a ‘herculean’ operation he said, referring to the potentially two-jab vaccine that will be administered to 19.5 million residents.
Two vaccines for each New Yorkers would mean 40 million doses must be ready, under a clear and decisive delivery plan to avoid mismanagement.
“I want to make sure that we don’t go through that same mess we went through with (personal protective equipment) procurement,” he said, announcing plans to set up an expert committee to oversee the vaccine distribution.
Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, BioNtech among others are some of the advanced candidates developing the COVID-19 vaccine in the US and other trial sites around the world.