NIH director pleads with USA to put skepticism aside about COVID vaccine

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The director of the National Institutes of Health on Sunday pleaded with Americans to “hit the reset button” on any skepticism they might have over the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I would like to plead to people who are listening to this this morning to really hit the reset button on whatever they think they knew about this vaccine that might cause them to be so skeptical,” Dr. Francis Collins told NBC News’s “Meet the Press.”

“It’s been discussed in a public meeting, all the details of the safety and the efficacy for anybody who wants to look. This is a very powerful outcome of this incredibly intense yearlong experience to develop this,” the NIH chief said.

Trucks pulled out of a Michigan warehouse Sunday morning with the first shipment of vaccines developed by Pfizer and approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration, meaning some Americans are expected to receive their first shots Monday.

The distribution effort comes as the pandemic has killed nearly 300,000 Americans and sickened more than 16 million.

“I think there have been few if any vaccines that have ever been subjected to this level of scrutiny,” Collins insisted. “So, if you want to look at the facts, I think you should be very reassured. Put aside all of the noise and, yeah, all of the skepticism that’s borne of potential interference from some source or another that did not determine the outcome.”

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