COVID source shout-out: FDA’s techies

I watched a pretty significant quantity of the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee (or VRBPAC) meeting on Thursday. The meeting lasted nearly nine hours, from 9 AM to about 5:40 PM Eastern, and was plagued by top infectious disease experts who simply could not turn on their microphones.

It was a typical Zoom meeting with a few older colleagues. But it was also a critically important meeting to discuss the safety of a novel biological product that might save thousands of lives. That’s why, this week, I am paying homage to the FDA tech people behind the scenes who needed to turn on and off those microphones, share those slides, and generally get all the VRBPAC information where it needed to go. As far as I could tell, they kept the meeting running smoothly without seriously angering any of the esteemed committee members. No small achievement!

Also, the meeting had banger hold music during the breaks. (Disclaimer: I am a 23-year-old white girl who listens to indie instrumentals and the “How to Train Your Dragon” soundtrack while working. You might want to take my categorization of banger hold music with a grain of salt.)

If you want to read actual, serious coverage of the VRBPAC meeting, STAT News kept a thorough liveblog.

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