A corona vaccine has now also been approved in the US. The White House had previously put a lot of pressure on the FDA. Reports say it should have been the job of the head of the authorities.
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As the first corona vaccine, the drug received emergency approval in the US from Mainz-based pharmaceutical company Biontech and its American partner Pfizer. The vaccine can now be used in people aged 16 and older, the US drug agency FDA announced Friday evening (local time). FDA chief Stephen Hahn spoke of a “significant milestone in the fight against this devastating pandemic.” According to media reports, the White House has previously threatened the FDA with urgent emergency clearance.
Elected US President Donald Trump promised his countrymen the first vaccinations this weekend after approval. “The first vaccine will be given within 24 hours,” Trump announced in a video on Twitter. His government has already started shipping the vaccine. Trump stressed that vaccinations are free for all Americans.
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Looking at the development of the vaccine in record time, he said, “This is one of the greatest scientific achievements in history.” The vaccine will save millions of lives “and end the pandemic once and for all”.
Even when it comes to vaccination, Trump can’t stop lying
Trump presented the development as a success for his administration: the US was “the first country in the world” to produce a demonstrably safe and effective vaccine. However, this is not the case, as the American company Pfizer was a partner in the development of the vaccine through the German company Biontech. The product is already manufactured outside of the US and is even used in some countries.
Pfizer and Biontech filed an application for approval with the FDA last month. They were the first Western manufacturers to publish promising study results and apply for such approval. An application has also been submitted to the European Medicines Agency (Ema) for approval of the corona vaccine in the EU, but a decision is still pending.
At the beginning of the month, the UK medicines regulatory authority issued emergency approval for Biontech / Pfizer preparation. This made Great Britain the first country in the world to approve the vaccine. Canada, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Mexico have also approved the vaccine.
The White House would have put enormous pressure on the head of the authorities
According to media reports, the White House would have urged FDA chief Hahn to immediately approve the vaccine with threats on Friday. The Washington Post reported that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows had asked Hahn to resign if the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine had not been approved by the end of the day. The New York Times reported that Meadows had told Hahn that if he didn’t, he should consider looking for another job.
However, Hahn himself spoke in a statement to the American media about “a false representation of the telephone conversation with the chief of staff.” The FDA was “encouraged” to quickly process the Biontech and Pfizer application. The New York Times reported that the authority had scheduled approval for Saturday morning. It’s unclear the benefits of speeding up approval by half a day.
Trump himself put pressure on the FDA on Friday. He criticized the agency as a “big, old, slow turtle.” On Twitter, he wrote, “Spend those damn vaccines now, Dr. Hahn. Stop playing games and start saving lives !!!” Trump had repeatedly pressured the agency to approve corona vaccines and therapies in the past. He was sharply criticized for it.
Corona pandemic completely out of control in the US.
Republican Trump lost the US election on Nov. 3 to Democrat Joe Biden. Experts also attribute this to Trump’s crisis management during the pandemic, which Americans have been giving bad grades in surveys for months. Biden will be sworn in on January 20. The Democrat wants to start a 100-day plan immediately afterwards to fight the corona virus. Part of the program is to deliver at least 100 million doses of a vaccine within this period.
The pandemic continues to get out of control in the US. On Wednesday, the number of deaths in one day was more than 3,000 for the first time. Biden called the coronavirus death toll a “tragic milestone,” said Biden. “That’s more deaths in one day than on 9/11 or Pearl Harbor.” Biden was referring to the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington and to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in December 1941. According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, the number of new infections registered in the US was days each at over 200,000.
The US government has contractually secured the supply of 100 million vaccine doses from Pfizer / Biontech. The American pharmaceutical company Moderna announced on Friday that the US government is buying an additional 100 million doses of its candidate vaccine. These cans would be delivered in the second quarter of next year.
Of the first 100 million copies already purchased by the US, 20 million would be shipped by Moderna this month, the remaining 80 million in the first quarter of 2021. The US would also have the option to purchase another 300 million cans of Moderna. to buy. The Moderna vaccine has yet to be approved by the FDA. An advisory committee wants to discuss this next Thursday.