ACP and Annals of Internal Medicine Host Virtual COVID-19 Vaccine Forum for Physicians

Panel offers timely, evidence-based information for those on the frontlines

Philadelphia, PA (Oct. 19, 2020) – The American College of Physicians (ACP) and Annals of Internal Medicine hosted a virtual forum on October 16 assembling some of the country’s leading health experts to discuss timely, evidence-based information related to what physicians and other health care professionals need to know about a COVID-19 vaccine.

The ACP and Annals of Internal Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Forum: What Physicians Need to Know, featured Anthony Fauci, MD, MACP, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and other distinguished experts who offered their unique insights into the science and policy surrounding the vaccines. The full recording is available for replay here and is published in Annals of Internal Medicine along with commentary by event moderator Christine Laine, MD, MPH, ACP senior vice president and editor-in-chief, Annals of Internal Medicine

The forum offered current, evidence-based information related to the science, approval processes, and development of clinical recommendations for vaccines. Panelists discussed the Emergency Use Authorization of COVID-19 vaccines, which would be the first time this process has been implemented for a vaccine in the history of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The forum also addressed the political environment that threatens the time-honored vaccine-related processes and fosters confusion and mistrust.

“While much uncertainty surrounds vaccines for COVID-19 and the course of the pandemic in general, what is certain is that physicians will have a critical role in the implementation of a successful immunization program once a safe and effective vaccine becomes available,” said Dr. Laine. “Physicians must be prepared, and scientific knowledge — untarnished by political views— is essential to this preparation.”

During the forum, Dr. Fauci discussed the status of the COVID-19 vaccines under development and the research investigating their effectiveness and safety. Dr. Fauci said he was ‘cautiously optimistic’ that a vaccine could be approved in early 2021, but stressed that the science could not be rushed. Other highlights of the forum included:

  • David Kessler, MD, Former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    discussed the vaccine approval process and stressed that it needs to be free from political interference.
  • Beth P. Bell, MD, MPH, FIDSA, member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviewed the process the ACIP will follow to develop clinical recommendations related to the vaccine. Dr. Bell says these clinical guidelines will be crucial for informing practice moving forward.
  • Rachel Levine, MD, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health discussed how the vaccine might be disseminated and the importance of public trust in implementing a successful vaccination program. 

There are still many questions surrounding the vaccines, but the forum provided sound, baseline information and highlighted several questions that physicians should ask when data become available and approval ensues.

“The information garnered from this forum gives our members and other health care providers up-to-date, scientifically accurate information they can use to inform patient discussions and, in the future, guide medical decision-making related to the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, ACP President. 


About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 163,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About Annals of Internal Medicine
Annals of Internal Medicine is the flagship journal of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Annals is the most widely read and cited general internal medicine journal and one of the most influential peer-reviewed clinical journals in the world. Annals’ mission is to promote excellence in medicine, enable physicians and other health care professionals to be well-informed members of the medical community and society, advance standards in the conduct and reporting of medical research, and contribute to improving the health of people worldwide. New content is published every Tuesday at Follow Annals on Twitter and Instagram @AnnalsofIM and on Facebook.

ACP Media Contact: Andrew Hachadorian, (215) 351-2514,
Annals Media Contact: Angela Collom, (215) 351-2653, ACollom@acponline.or