US President Donald Trump announced late on Friday night that the Food and Drug Administration had given authorisation for the Pfizer vaccine for coronavirus.
Trump uploaded a video on his Twitter handle, describing the authorisation as a “medical miracle”. “We have delivered a safe and effective vaccine in just nine months. This is one of the greatest scientific achievements in history. It will save millions of lives and soon end the pandemic once and for all,” Trump said.
Trump explained, “We have given Pfizer and other companies a great deal of money, hoping this would be the outcome.” Trump highlighted the safety record of the vaccine and pointed out that clinical trials had no side-effects.
Trump declared the vaccine had passed the gold standard of safety. Trump pointed out his administration had provided $14 billion to accelerate vaccine development. Pointing to a $2 billion investment in Pfizer’s vaccine, Trump said he was proud to announce the company’s vaccine would be “free for all Americans”.
Trump said his administration wanted “senior citizens, health care workers and first responders to be first in line” as it would quickly reduce COVID-19 deaths and hospitalisations.
The FDA was, reportedly, under pressure to authorise the vaccine. “The FDA action came after White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Friday told FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn to be prepared to submit his resignation if the agency did not clear the vaccine by day’s end,” The Washington Post reported.
The UK was the first nation to approve the Pfizer vaccine. Canada, Mexico and Bahrain have also authorised the vaccine.