Vaccine issues already?

Pfizer is having supplier issues, some people who received the vaccine are reporting side effects like Bell’s Palsy. In the meantime this administration is patting itself on the back for the quick development of vaccines.

There are 14 FDA inspectors to cover the whole country. To say that’s not enough would be a huge understatement especially as Pfizer tries to capitalize on their certain vaccine approval.

I have worked closely with raw material suppliers in my career, and I know that raw material quality is a huge issue. Pfizer is now warning states that they will get just a fraction of their allocations because of raw material issues. Can you imagine the chaos that’s going to ensue when retail pharmacies announce that they have a minimal supply of Covid vaccine?


The fact that pharma companies were able to develop vaccines so quickly is a tribute to science but let’s not forget that the prize at the end of the journey is billions in profits. What assurances does the public have that every dose of vaccine is made to the highest quality standards?

Then there is the supply issue. The Trump administration turned down the chance to secure more of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which Britain became the first to roll out Tuesday, and will probably need to wait until June or July to procure doses beyond an initial order of 100 million because other countries have snapped up limited supply, the company told the White House.

In addition to all this are potential side effects. One Pfizer trial participant told CNBC that after the second shot, he woke up with chills, shaking so hard he cracked a tooth. “It hurt to even just lay in my bed sheet,” he said.

FDA regulators also noted a “numerical imbalance” in cases of Bell’s palsy, a condition that temporarily weakens face muscles: There were four cases of Bell’s palsy among the 20,000-plus people who got Pfizer’s vaccine, compared with no cases in the placebo group.

The media is sure to highlight negative stories as they lead to clicks and more ad revenue but the public should be concerned about the supply channel issues. Safe and effective means that we should expect safe production as well.