The US government is very quick to approve the new vaccine from the US and German vaccine makers Pfizer and BioNTech. US Secretary of State Alex Azar, who has Health in his portfolio, said this should be settled within a few days.
He expects, according to American media, that it may already be possible to vaccinate people with the drug from Monday or Tuesday.
The “emergency approval” follows positive advice from independent researchers about the vaccine to the FDA watchdog, which oversees drugs, drugs and food. It’s safe enough to be administered to Americans, the majority of the expert team said. The panel believes that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.
The experts have extensively debated the risk of allergy after two cases of severe reactions in the UK where vaccination started this week. In the United States, the vaccine will come with a warning, the FDA’s Marion Gruber announced: it will not be recommended for people with a known allergy to any of its ingredients.
Pfizer will not be able to deliver more than 100 million vaccines to the US government by mid-2021. With this, 50 million Americans can be vaccinated. In the US, nearly 300,000 people have already died from Covid-19. Currently, about 3000 are added every day.
In the UK, people are already being vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine on a large scale. Canada has also accelerated approval of the drug. The European regulator EMA expects to pass a judgment on the Pfizer vaccine at the end of this month.