BioTech Innovation Organization, Pfizer share vaccine efficacy, role in COVID-19 recovery
HARRISBURG, April 12 – As Pennsylvania expands vaccine eligibility, the House Democratic Policy Committee heard from the manufacturers tirelessly working to develop safe and effective vaccines for global use.
At a Policy Committee hearing today, testifiers included representatives from Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Pfizer, who provided details on the technology behind the development of the COVID-19 vaccines and how the United States can reach herd immunity.
Chairman Ryan Bizzarro and state Reps. Patty Kim and Darisha Parker facilitated the hearing, where Amy Walker, director of Infectious Diseases Policy for Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Lisa Coen, senior director, Vaccine Public Affairs with Pfizer, shared insight into the science behind the creation of COVID-19 vaccines, ongoing research, development and trials.
Walker shared that five presidents, both Democratic and Republican, have been vaccinated, highlighting that the vaccines have received bipartisan support.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have conversations based on science and fact. These vaccines will save lives and I encourage everyone eligible and interested to take the advice of scientists and medical professionals and help put this pandemic behind us,” Bizzarro implored.
“It is important for us to hear this testimony today, especially for my constituents,” Parker said. “Communities of color have battled COVID extra hard and in order to finally win the war on this virus, we need to be sure all the information about science that it is readily available to everyone like those with hearing impairment or any difficulty accessing the info, and that they know the safety of our vaccines and how participation with getting vaccines will help us get there. Moving forward, we will use this information from today to set good public policy for now and many years to come.”
Walker continued to highlight the importance of efforts to overcome vaccine hesitation across a variety of communities throughout the country, including communities of color, Hispanics and those clinging to misinformation about vaccines.
Pfizer is confident in the vaccine supply chain, shared Coen, and has worked to boost vaccine dose availability from 5 million to 15 million per week.
“Due to the successful rollout of vaccines, we are beginning to recover from COVID-19 and the pandemic as a whole,” Kim said. “We must do all that we can to increase these recovery efforts while continuing to expand vaccinations. This is not over yet, and it’s on many of us to do our part to get vaccinated and work to return to normal.”
Mask-wearing, social distancing and good hygiene habits, including regular hand washing, are still encouraged to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Hearing video and testimony from Biotechnology Innovation Organization are available here and at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee.