Press Releases

Rep. Wexton Discusses COVID-19 Vaccine Research and Development with Leading Scientists

Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) participated in a bipartisan roundtable on the opportunities and challenges confronting accelerated vaccine research and development for a COVID-19 vaccine held by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. The expert panelists in attendance included Dr. Jesse L. Goodman, Director at Georgetown University’s Center on Medical Product Access, Safety and Stewardship (COMPASS), formerly the Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) from 2003-2009 and the Chief Scientist of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2009-2014; Dr. Peter Smith, Professor of Tropical Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and Dr. Peter J. Hotez, Director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Our scientists across the nation are working around the clock to fast track a vaccine to COVID-19 -- the key to beating this virus -- but the only way that vaccine will be successful is if we make sure to uphold scientific integrity throughout the process,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “I appreciated hearing from experts about the work being done to develop a vaccine while ensuring safety, efficacy, and the ability to meet demand. A successful vaccine is one that has met rigorous standards based in science and that Americans can trust to be effective. We know that there are those who will seek to discredit the public health benefits of a vaccine -- it’s critical that we communicate the facts plainly and aggressively to the American public.”

The Members and panelists discussed how long it could take to develop a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19, which research methods might hold the greatest promise, and how the vaccine research and development process can be expedited for COVID-19 without compromising scientific integrity.