· A physician with the University of Pennsylvania Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy discusses the ethics of studying new SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in light of the recent FDA approval of the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccinations. The author proposes that moving forward with testing with a multigroup platform trial and comparing approved vaccines to unapproved vaccines would allow for the direct comparison of safety and efficacy among vaccines. The article suggests that this type of trial would eliminate the need for placebo groups, promote vaccinations and the acquisition of public health data, and encourage the participation of vaccine manufacturers to ultimately enable the development of safer vaccines and improve public health.
Authors from the University of Genoa and the University of Bologna in Rimini, Italy clarify the current understanding of death caused by COVID-19, established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and coded through the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), stating that COVID-19 should be the official cause of death when the causal chain of events from infection leads directly to death, even when accompanied by pre-existing comorbidities that exacerbate or accelerate death. Accurate classifications of deaths by COVID-19 influence the epidemiology, public health policies, communication, and political decisions made throughout the pandemic.