Live updates on the coronavirus pandemic

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Former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Tom Frieden uses hand sanitizer during a hearing on May 6 in Washington. Alex Wong / Getty Images

The first concern with a vaccine to prevent coronavirus infection will be safety, former Center for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr Thomas Frieden said on Friday.

“This is the first time we’ve had an anti-vaccine movement before we have the vaccine,” Frieden said in a podcast sponsored by online news site Axios.

This makes it important to be honest and open with people about the risks, he said.

“There is already too much suspicion and hesitation about vaccines, and the way to fix it is to just say it as it is and make sure we say what we do, when we do it. let’s do, what we learn, when we learn it, ”said Frieden, who is now president of Resolve to Save Lives.

One of the concerns is a potential immune response to the vaccination, he said. “Because some of the side effects of Covid-19 are regulated by the immune system and it raises the theoretical concern that something like Kawasaki-like disease that you see in rare cases of childhood illness could be a rare side event. vaccination, ”he said.

Frieden said if a coronavirus vaccine was approved, he would get one. “If there is enough vaccine to provide first for essential workers and especially healthcare workers and it is proven to be safe and effective, I would love to get the vaccine,” said Frieden.

“There are a lot of hurdles to overcome before you have a vaccine available, which has been shown to be effective, safe and widely used,” he added. “First and foremost is safety and efficiency,” he said. “Is it working well, for whom, for how long and is it safe?” “

So far, 25 vaccines are in human trials worldwide and 141 more are in preclinical trials, according to the World Health Organization.

But a vaccine will not be the only solution to the pandemic. “I think what we have to overcome is the idea that there is one thing that is going to make Covid go away,” Frieden said.

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