President Donald Trump on Friday pressured the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to quickly approve the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine as the country is getting ready to start its out mass immunizations.
Get the dam vaccines out NOW, Dr. Hahn,” Trump tweeted Friday. “Stop playing games and start saving lives.”
Stephen Hahn is the US FDA chief.
The vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech won a critical endorsement Thursday from an FDA panel of outside advisers, and the signoff from the agency — which was expected this weekend — is the next step needed to get the shots to the public.
A US newspaper also reported that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Friday pressed FDA chief Hahn to grant an emergency use authorization (EUA) for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of the day or face possible firing.
Hahn disputed characterizations of his conversation with Meadows.
“This is an untrue representation of the phone call with the Chief of Staff,” Hahn said in a statement. “The FDA was encouraged to continue working expeditiously on Pfizer-BioNTech’s EUA request. FDA is committed to issuing this authorization quickly, as we noted in our statement this morning.”
The FDA said earlier Friday that it “will rapidly work” to finalize emergency use of the vaccine. SOVEREIGNPH