It has been publicly reported that a majority of Americans are skeptical of the current federal administration’s credibility on COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness, with reports showing the number of Americans willing to receive the vaccine if it were available today has declined since spring.
To establish and build public trust, on September 29, Governor Cuomo appointed members to New York’s independent Clinical Advisory Task Force comprised of leading scientists, doctors, and health experts who will expeditiously review every COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the federal government, and will advise New York State on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness in fighting the virus.
The Clinical Advisory Task Force will help NYS determine if the vaccine safe and effective. The Task Force is comprised of Department of Health subject matter experts and recognized external experts in medicine, law, and science.
On December 10, the Clinical Advisory Task Force unanimously approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. On December 18, the Task Force unanimously approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna.
Task Force Members
1. Charles M. Rice, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University (Chair)
2. Scott M. Hammer, M.D., New York-Presbyterian/ Columbia University Medical Center (Chair)
3. Bruce Farber, M.D., Northwell
4. Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
5. Kelvin Lee, M.D., Roswell Park
6. Sharon Nachman, M.D., Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook
The Task Force’s independent review of any federally authorized COVID-19 vaccine will help address publicly reported concerns about the scientific process and rush to market. The Task Force will rely on numerous data sources including public information and the findings of expert third party independent organizations. In addition, they will provide for the involvement and/or input of regional/local clinical and other leadership representative of all areas of the state. The Task Force will advise on the vaccine safety profile, legal authority to withhold vaccine, and clinical best practices if New York State must withhold or pause distribution of the vaccine. The group will also advise New York State as to the implications of a vaccine being released under an FDA EUA.