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As the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) pandemic persists across the US and the world, the spotlight on vaccine science has never been more intense. Researchers across the globe are working rapidly to produce a potential vaccine, and 7 candidates are already in clinical trials.1 Operation Warp Speed, the vaccine development project announced by President Trump, has advocated for a vaccine to be made available in the US by the beginning of 2021.1 But for scientists and physicians, the term “warp speed” should trigger concern. Good science requires rigor, discipline, and deliberate caution. Any medical therapy approved for public use in the absence of extensive safeguards has the potential to cause harm, not only for COVID-19 prevention efforts and vaccine recipients, but also for public trust in vaccination efforts worldwide.
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Trogen B, Oshinsky D, Caplan A. Adverse Consequences of Rushing a SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine: Implications for Public Trust. JAMA. 2020;323(24):2460–2461. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.8917
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