On Friday evening, President Trump hailed the FDA’s approval of the COVID-19 vaccine as a “medical miracle,” and said that the drug would “save millions of lives and end the pandemic once and for all.” He also added that COVID vaccine shots have been shipped and vaccination will start within 24 hours.
According to the President, millions of doses of Pfizer’s Coronavirus vaccine are being shipped out all over the U.S., with the first batch of vaccines due to happen within 24 hours. He also stated that this move is one of the most outstanding scientific achievements in history.
A video statement from the White House was released today where President Trump was seen thrilled to announce the “medical miracle,” saying, “I’m thrilled to report the FDA has approved the Phizer vaccine.” He also added that the vaccine passed the gold standard of safety and is “very safe.”
VIDEO: US President Donald Trump says the Covid-19 vaccine is a 'medical miracle' in a video released on his official Twitter account.
The US green lighted the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine late Friday, paving the way for its imminent rollout across the country pic.twitter.com/2tuFPIRGqf
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) December 12, 2020
In the video, President Trump also stated that the governors would decide where the vaccines will go. He then emphasized that the first in line to have the COVID-19 vaccine are senior citizens, health care workers, and first responders.
In order to administer the COVID vaccines efficiently, Congress and President Trump have already enacted legislation that will make it free to all Americans.
Late Friday, the Pfizer vaccine was given emergency authorization by regulators after the Trump administration pushed regulators to move quickly. A senior administration official also told the New York Times that The White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, even told Dr. Stephen Hahn, the FDA commissioner, to consider finding a new job if he didn’t approve the vaccine Friday. As a result, Dr. Hahn ordered vaccine regulators at the agency to approve it before the end of the day.
President Trump then tweeted triumphantly, “FDA APPROVES PFIZER VACCINE FOR EMERGENCY USE!!!”
FDA APPROVES PFIZER VACCINE FOR EMERGENCY USE!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2020
In the next 24 hours, an estimated 2.9 million vaccine doses of Pfizer are expected to be shipped to each state in the U.S. and its territory. Once it arrived in the state, it will be up to the governors to decide who will get vaccinated first. However, the CDC recommended to inject it first to health workers and nursing home residents.
The Department of Health and Human Services also stated last Friday morning that the vaccines would be rolled out on Monday or Tuesday. The U.K. and Canada have already approved Pfizer’s COVID vaccine, and on Tuesday, the first Britons got their first two doses. The speed at which the U.K. approved the U.S. made vaccine raised concerns in Europe. However, it put pressure on the U.S. to follow suit.
Britain said that they are focused on safety. Still, they were able to speed through the approval process by examining the trial data released last October in a “rolling review,” so the findings were made available as soon as they are ready than waiting until the end of the clinical trial.
The approval of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine is a historic step to fight the pandemic. It comes at the end of America’s deadliest week since the first time that COVID-19 cases were recorded in January.
The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. has topped 16,000 while the total cases are nearing half a million, according to John's Hopkins University as of Friday morning. https://t.co/0wno5K3T23 pic.twitter.com/DrxNc3ERme
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) April 10, 2020
In the past seven days alone, nearly 16,000 people died from the virus, according to the data from COVID Tracking Project. Meanwhile, the total number of U.S. infections are already nearing 16 million.
The approval to vaccinate Americans is a crucial step. However, there are still plenty of challenges that lie ahead.
Pfizer’s vaccine with a 95% effectivity rate has to be stored in sub-zero temperatures. This crucial storage temperature raised concerns in cases where it will take longer to ship or if accidents happen in the complicated administration process.