Pharma Marketing Teams Have to Prepare for COVID Vaccine Rollout
The race for a COVID-19 vaccine has been underway for months, and yesterday both Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly announced their vaccine and antibody trials have been paused. Last month, the COVID-19 vaccine trial from AstraZeneca experienced a pause for an unexplained illness.
Details of clinical trials are kept confidential and Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that Adverse Events “are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies.” Eli Lilly added in their own statement, "Safety is of the (utmost) importance to Lilly.”
There are a lot of unknowns about when and where a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready, but one thing is certain: with the most highly-anticipated pharmaceutical launch of the century, there will come a large volume of discussion—and misinformation.
Adverse Event Detection Will Get Complicated
Pharma brands have to understand and embrace the fact that, during this time of uncertainty, consumers are looking to be empowered with information. As a vaccine hits the market, there will be debate about whether or not it’s safe—and it will be up to pharma brands to take an active role in educating and informing consumers on the channels they turn to for information, including social media.
At the same time, there will be potential Adverse Events reported in and around brand-owned social media pages, which will need to be understood and reported by pharma marketing teams. There also will be misinformation about the vaccine and it’s side effects, putting the adoption of the vaccine at risk.
Additional Adverse Events are likely to happen, misinformation will continue to spread, and pharma marketing teams will need to be ready to listen, monitor, and report potential Adverse Events to pharmacovigilance or drug safety teams.