In his­toric Covid-19 ad­comm, vac­cine ex­perts de­bate a sea of ques­tions — but of­fer no clear an­swers

The most wide­ly an­tic­i­pat­ed and per­haps most wide­ly watched meet­ing in the FDA’s 113-year his­to­ry end­ed late Thurs­day night with a score of ques­tions and very few an­swers.

For near­ly 9 hours, 18 dif­fer­ent out­side ex­perts lis­tened to pub­lic health agen­cies and foun­da­tions present how the Unit­ed States’ Covid-19 vac­cine pro­gram de­vel­oped through Oc­to­ber, and they de­bat­ed where it should go from there: Were com­pa­nies test­ing the right met­rics in their mas­sive tri­als? How long should they track pa­tients be­fore de­clar­ing a vac­cine safe or ef­fec­tive? Should a vac­cine, once au­tho­rized, be giv­en to the vol­un­teers in the place­bo arm of a tri­al?

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