Politicians, government officials and pharma executives alike have been predicting a COVID-19 vaccine debut by year's end, but Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier doubts that's possible—and Merck has enough vaccine experience to know the obstacles ahead. Instead, those who are promising vaccines later this year could be hurting the overall fight against the pandemic, Frazier figures.
In an interview with Tsedal Neeley, the Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, Frazier said officials are doing a “grave disservice” to the public by talking up the potential for vaccines later this year. There are massive scientific and logistical obstacles to achieving such a feat, he said.
“What worries me the most is that the public is so hungry, is so desperate to go back to normalcy, that they are pushing us to move things faster and faster,” Frazier said. "Ultimately, if you are going to use a vaccine in billions of people, you’d better know what that vaccine does.”I agree with Frazier 100%. I don't have much of a crystal ball, but I think the earliest we'll have access to a mass vaccine is July 1, 2021, and I fear that's far too early.
Read the whole interview for lots of really good insights.