Pfizer plans to file for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its coronavirus vaccine Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Thursday in the White House briefing room.
Azar, speaking to reporters during the first White House coronavirus task force briefing since July, noted Moderna will soon follow suit at the FDA for its own vaccine.
“We crafted the greatest bio-pharmaceutical research, development, manufacturing, distribution and mobilization in partnership with the Defense Department and the unwavering support of President Trump are delivering results on that,” Azar stated. “We are seeing results. They said it could not be done.”
Earlier in the briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci — the task force’s leading immunologist — stated that Moderna and Pfizer’s work was a testament to the rapid advancements made by both the government and private companies in advancing vaccine development over the past year. He added that 94% and above efficacy rates of both vaccines nearly match levels achieved by the measles vaccine.
Vice President Mike Pence, the task force head, and Operation Warp Speed distribution chief Gen. Gustave Parna added that a distribution plan has been finalized so that the companies and the government can begin shipping doses and the associated equipment nationwide within 24 hours of the FDA granting an EUA.
“America has never been more prepared to combat this virus,” Pence stated in closing. “We are all in this together. As I said many times from this podium, I know with the cooperation of the American people and our doctors and nurses and first responders, the extraordinary partnership of federal, state and local health officials and with god’s help, we will get through this.”