Science—Not Politics—in COVID-19 Vaccines: How to watchdog the regulatory process

September 10, 2020

Given the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is enormous pressure to speed vaccine development and approval. However, if approval appears to have been influenced by politics, or if the process skips important steps, public faith in vaccines will be damaged, resulting in decreased uptake for COVID-19 vaccines, and, potentially, other immunizations.

To help advocates lead the push for science—not politics—in the decision-making about possible vaccine approvals, AVAC has just published a Regulatory Approval Primer for Vaccine Advocates to help all stakeholders understand the regulatory process and points along the way to hold authorities accountable.

AVAC developed this checklist, outlining what to watch in the regulatory review of COVID-19 vaccines, to demand and protect a process that is unbiased, swift and thorough.

This new resource, along with our recently released COVID-19 Vaccine Pipeline Cheat Sheet, Advocates’ Guide: The risks and benefits of expedited COVID-19 vaccine research, and a new COVID-19 Vaccine Pipeline PowerPoint presentation, can now be found on the recently redesigned COVID-19 webpage on The new page showcases resources and materials to help advocates make sense of the rapidly evolving research landscape.

Finally, if you missed last month’s webinar with Dr. Barney Graham, the Deputy Director of the NIH’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC), you can watch the recording here. Dr. Graham reviewed the COVID-19 vaccine development pipeline and put a spotlight on the vaccine developed by Moderna and the NIH (mRNA-1273), currently being tested in a Phase III trial.

We are scheduling additional webinars with other vaccine developers to explore the full pipeline, and to plan advocacy efforts to drive a response to COVID-19 based on the science.