Dr. Stacey Schultz-Cherry, a leading researcher at St. Jude CEIRS, was included in an interview with NPR science correspondent Joe Palca about approval for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The interview focused on the science behind vaccine development and the approval requirements. New COVID-19 vaccines are being approved by the FDA through a process called an “emergency use authorization” in order to get them to vulnerable populations more quickly, so consulting with experts like Dr. Schultz-Cherry is critical to ensure the vaccines are safe. Preliminary clinical studies of the Moderna vaccine identified minor side effects and relatively few severe reactions in vaccinated individuals. Dr. Schultz-Cherry noted that none of the adverse effects were unusual or concerning and the minor side effects are common among many vaccines.
Note: The Moderna vaccine was granted an emergency use authorization on December 18th, 2020.