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Johnson & Johnson’s CEO on building trust for a coronavirus vaccine

Happy Thursday, readers.

I wanted to highlight a few more stories from our extraordinary (and first-ever virtual) Brainstorm Health conference which wrapped up Wednesday afternoon.

You can scroll through all of the coverage here. Earlier this morning, Fortune CEO Alan Murray highlighted one of the most fascinating sessions, a conversation with Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky on the race for a coronavirus vaccine. J&J is among the front-runners for developing a successful candidate.

“We are taking what normally takes five to seven years, and doing it in five to seven months,” said Gorsky in a session moderated by Dr. David Agus, adding that, “A vaccine, while a very critical element to bringing an end to this pandemic, is part of the puzzle.”

Questions from Brainstorm Health attendees—which Gorsky answered in a followup with me—highlighted those nuances. And an issue that stuck out to me is the rampant vaccine skepticism across America.

“In addition to the work we have to do on science, we’ll have to put an equal effort forward on eduction to the pubic on vaccinations and this vaccine,” Gorsky told me in a post-session chat. “We have had conversations with governments, even working with the distribution systems to make this a seamless process to that end consumer so that they have confidence, so that the have safety information and data that makes them trust it.”

On top of that, Gorsky says that any pricing for a successful (or semi-successful) coronavirus vaccine will require nuance given “a very unique situation.”

“We want to go for not-for-profit prices to maximize access but that requires work with the U.S. and European governments and other entities like the Gates Foundation.”

Make sure to read all of our coverage from a very unique Brainstorm Health. And read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee
[email protected]

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