Pediatrician Paul A. Offit, MD is probably best known as a leading proponent of childhood immunizations, a position that has garnered pushback and even death threats from extremists in the anti-vaccination movement.
Weighing in on COVID, Dr. Offit has expressed apprehension about some of the terminology such as "warp speed," "finalist," and "race for a vaccine," which, he told Medscape, “scares people that either timelines are being inappropriately truncated or, worse, that safety guidelines are being ignored.” Fear is a common theme in his conversation. "It is very difficult to unscare people when you scare them,” he told the host of the Point of Inquiry podcast.
Dr. Offit is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of virology and immunology, and was a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is Director of the Vaccine Education Center and professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; a member of the Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, and a founding advisory board member of the Autism Science Foundation and the Foundation for Vaccine Research.
Dr. Offit is the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq®, recommended for universal use in infants by the CDC. For this achievement, he was honored by Bill and Melinda Gates during the launch of their Foundation’s Living Proof Project for global health.
Dr. Offit spoke with virologist Dr. Shannon Hogan, Assistant Professor in the Regis College STEM department. Watch the full conversation below.