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Pfizer applies for emergency approval to rollout vaccine in US before the end of the year

The FDA will meet on 10 December to discuss the request for emergency use authorization

Pfizer's headquarters in Paris
Pfizer's headquarters in Paris
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

BIOTECH GIANT PFIZER and it’s German partner BioNTech sought approval in the US yesterday for an early rollout of its coronavirus vaccine. 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said its vaccines committee would meet on 10 December to discuss the request for emergency use authorization.

“The FDA recognizes that transparency and dialogue are critical for the public to have confidence in COVID-19 vaccines,” the organization’s head Stephen Hahn said in a statement.

“I want to assure the American people that the FDA’s process and evaluation of the data for a potential Covid-19 vaccine will be as open and transparent as possible.” 

He said he could not predict how long the review would take, but the federal government said earlier the final green light would probably come in December.

Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla called the filing “a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world.”

Two jabs have become frontrunners in the race to create a vaccine: One from Pfizer/BioNTech and another from US firm Moderna.

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the European bloc could also approve both before the end of the year.

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that while it’s unlikely that a vaccine would be rolled out in Ireland before the end of the year, he believes it could begin in early 2021.

“For the early part of 2021, we’re in a position to start procuring the vaccine,” said Martin, speaking to Virgin Media News yesterday.

Martin called the news a “wonderful Christmas present, as in, a voucher for the next 12 months”. 

© Agence France-Presse

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