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Conspiracists say Dr. Anthony Fauci’s wife, Dr. Christine Grady, who also works for the National Institutes of Health, has approval over the vaccines he promotes, or some version of that. She doesn’t, but that doesn’t stop nefarious plots about the couple. Here’s the truth about Mrs. Fauci and, more specifically, about how vaccines are approved.

Both Dr. Anthony Fauci (medical doctor) and Dr. Christine Grady (Ph.D., not a medical doctor) work for the NIH (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), along with about 20,260 others in 27 institutes and centers of different biomedical disciplines, such as the National Cancer Institute, National Eye Institute, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Drug Abuse and more.

Anthony Fauci directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), one of the 27 major institutes, and is chief medical adviser to the president.

Meanwhile, Christine Grady is a nurse-bioethicist and chief of the Department of Bioethics of the Clinical Center of the NIH, the nation’s largest hospital devoted to clinical research. Note, this is a separate division from that of her husband, which reports directly to the National Institutes of Health.

Grady specifically works in ethics of clinical research, like study design, informed consent, recruitment, vulnerability, as well as ethical issues faced by nurses and other health care providers.

Now, how are vaccines approved?

Vaccines are first tested on tissue samples and in animal models in pre-clinical trials. Promising vaccines are then sponsored for clinical trials by the manufacturer.

If approved, clinical trials occur in three phases:

  • First: A small trial of 20 to 80 people focuses on safety and the kind of immune response the vaccine provokes.
  • Second: Usually, several hundred people are tested with different doses to find the most effective amount.
  • Third: Third-phase trials are done among thousands of people and include testing against a placebo, studying long-term efficacy and watching for rare side effects.

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The Food and Drug Administration monitors these trials and, if concerned, will halt them or request additional information or research.

If the vaccine successfully completes all three phases, the sponsor submits a biologics license application providing the FDA with the safety and efficacy data needed to assess the vaccine.

Then, the FDA and the manufacturer present this data to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. This committee of independent scientists and physicians are the ones who vote to recommend the use of a vaccine or not, not Christine Grady, Fauci’s wife.

For instance, last Friday, the committee voted to recommend a Pfizer vaccine booster for people 65 and older and those at high risk, but not the general population as President Joe Biden and Fauci thought it would.

Who serves on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee?

A core of 15 voting members is selected by the FDA commissioner from among authorities knowledgeable in immunology, molecular biology, rDNA, virology, bacteriology, epidemiology or biostatistics, vaccine policy, vaccine safety science, federal immunization activities, vaccine development, allergy, preventive medicine, infectious diseases, pediatrics, microbiology, and biochemistry. Anyone can nominate a potential member.

The majority are medical doctors from prestigious medical institutions, such as the Baylor College of Medicine, Chicago Medical School, Stanford University, Tufts Medical Center, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Emory University School of Medicine and Duke University.

Two industry representatives are members, one from Seqirus Inc. and one from Merck, as well as a doctor from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a biostatistician from the state of Washington’s Division of Public Health Sciences and the chief medical officer of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

So, who should we believe, the FDA process or our nontrained Facebook friends who cite an unfamiliar article from an unknown source? Come on. Follow the medically trained consensus, not your local precinct’s political operative. And, no, Christine Grady does not approve vaccines.

Tom Crouser is a business consultant living in Mink Shoals. Reach him at and follow @TomCrouser on Twitter. Also connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.

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