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Scripps Health Forms Vaccine Committee For Future COVID-19 Treatment

A woman walks by a COVID-19 response sign at the Scripps Institution of Ocean...

Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Above: A woman walks by a COVID-19 response sign at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla on Aug. 22, 2020.

Scripps Health announced Monday it has established a COVID-19 Vaccine Committee to recommend which coronavirus vaccine or vaccines to consider offering for patients, employees and physicians.

The team of Scripps' medical, pharmaceutical and vaccine experts will begin meeting this week. They will review and analyze the leading COVID-19 vaccines from an evidence-based perspective.

"It's our responsibility as a health care provider to be the voice of science and truth," said Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder.

"There is a strong potential for public opinion to differ on which COVID-19 vaccine is best, with some people lacking faith in any of them. Our goal, through this committee, is to provide recommendations on a vaccine or vaccines based on an objective review of the available medical data and clinical information."

Researchers worldwide are testing 48 COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and at least 93 pre-clinical vaccines are under active investigation in animals. Nine COVID-19 vaccines are in Phase 3 large-scale efficacy testing. According to Scripps, expectations are that the Food and Drug Administration could approve a vaccine by the end of the year.

"Each meeting, we will review and evaluate the leading vaccine candidates," said Dr. Anil Keswani, Scripps' chief medical officer of ambulatory and accountable care. "Once options reach a stage of completion, we will advise Scripps' clinical and administrative leadership as to which, if any, vaccines we recommend using from an objective medical and scientific perspective."

The 15-person committee includes members from disciplines such as immunology, epidemiology, oncology, pharmacology and obstetrics and gynecology.

"Having seen the heartbreaking impact COVID-19 has on patients and families, both in the short and long term, our vaccine evaluation team will allow us to continue to provide cutting edge care during this challenging pandemic," said Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, Scripps' chief medical officer of acute care, clinical excellence and experience.

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