Industry Voices — COVID-19 vaccine development was a historic achievement. We'll need cutting-edge technology to make sure it ends the pandemic - Fierce Healthcare

After nine months of suffering, isolation and economic downturn on an unprecedented international scale, the expedited development and approval of COVID-19 vaccines has shown us the light at the tunnel’s end. Having an end in sight is not the same as getting there, however: Inoculating the majority of American citizens in a matter of months would be complicated under the best of circumstances.

And, as a recent Gallup poll reports, more than a third of us think taking a vaccine is a leap of faith too far. 

This high evidence bar for safety—especially for diverse populations and settings underrepresented in clinical trials—cannot be compromised. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, people are most worried about possible side effects, and they lack trust in the government to ensure vaccine safety and effectiveness. 

The only way to address the public’s skepticism is to assess data on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines in near real time, with technology built for the purpose of producing real-world evidence (RWE). While RWE has long been used for post-marketing safety studies, the pandemic has created new urgency for unlocking what our everyday interactions with the healthcare system tell us about what health treatments work best for whom, when.

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