Azar says 1st U.S. COVID-19 vaccinations could begin Monday or Tuesday

This illustration picture taken on November 23, 2020 shows a bottle reading "Vaccine Covid-19" and a syringe next to the Pfizer and Biontech logo
(Image credit: JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it will "rapidly work toward" authorizing Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, potentially meaning Americans could start receiving it as soon as Monday or Tuesday.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Good Morning America on Friday that the FDA has informed Pfizer "they do intend to proceed towards an authorization for their vaccine," and so "we should be seeing the authorization" within days. FDA officials in a statement confirmed the agency "will rapidly work toward finalization and issuance of an emergency use authorization" of the vaccine.

Azar also told GMA that as a result, "We could be seeing people getting vaccinated Monday, Tuesday of next week."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

This comes after an independent advisory panel on Thursday voted to recommend that the FDA provide emergency authorization for Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine. The FDA was expected to follow this recommendation. Pfizer said in November that a final analysis of its phase three trial showed the vaccine is 95 percent effective, with no "serious safety concerns" reported.

The vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech was previously approved in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Bahrain. Brendan Morrow

See more
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us