“Our country has achieved a medical miracle,” said President Donald Trump. The United States has just urgently authorized Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine against Covid-19. The first injection will take place in less than 24 hours, estimates the White House.
The United States granted emergency clearance for the Pfizer-BioNTech alliance’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday evening, the Scientific Director of the United States Medicines Agency (FDA) said in a letter.A huge logistics operation was to be launched immediately, in the coming hours, to distribute the vaccine to the four corners of the country. The first vaccinations will be administered “in less than 24 hours,” said President Donald Trump.
This authorization was imminent, driven by the impatience of the billionaire, who demanded the health authorities, in the morning, that it take place the same day.
“Get out the damn vaccine NOW,” the US leader tweeted Friday morning, who has focused his entire response to the pandemic on the super-rapid development of a cure.
According to several media reports, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff demanded that the director of the FDA either finalize the clearance process on Friday, or resign. An independent panel of experts on Thursday recommended that the FDA approve the Pfizer-BioNTech alliance vaccine.
President-designate Joe Biden, on the contrary, praised the “scientific integrity” of the FDA, which was careful not to give the image of a botched procedure. “You can have confidence [in this vaccine]. There is no political interference, ”Biden said Friday during the day from his home town of Wilmington, Delaware.
The United States has purchased an additional 100 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, the US Department of Health said in a statement on Friday. They add to the 100 million doses of this vaccine already pre-ordered by the country from the American biotechnology company. The United States has already purchased 100 million doses of the vaccine developed by the Pfizer-BioNTech alliance.
An advisory committee is due to meet next Thursday to give its opinion on Moderna’s vaccine, after studying complete data from clinical trials.The United States, the most affected country in the world in absolute numbers, recorded a new contamination record on Friday with nearly
235,000 cases in 24 hours, according to benchmark Johns Hopkins University figures.
The world’s largest economy has chained records: for a week, with the exception of the weekend, the figures for new daily contaminations have exceeded 200,000. In relation to this outbreak of the epidemic, new restrictions have been taken locally: to New York, restaurants will no longer be able to serve indoors as of Monday.
The World Health Organization has called for increased vigilance during the holiday season, as the number of weekly deaths has jumped 60% in the past six weeks.Worldwide, the new coronavirus has killed at least 1,582,721 people, for nearly 70 million confirmed infections. Europe is the area with the most new infections this week (+236,700 on average per day). The pandemic, which had been receding since mid-November, has stabilized there at a high level.
In France (nearly 57,000 dead), there is a “high risk” of an outbreak “in the coming weeks”, alerted the public health body France on Friday, which calls for “greater vigilance, especially in the perspective of the end of year celebrations ”.
The epidemiological situation remains precarious in the United Kingdom, with an outbreak of cases in London and the South East. But the country launched its vaccination campaign on Tuesday, after being the first country to give the green light to the US-German alliance Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Canada, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have since followed suit, and the European Medicines Agency is expected to issue an opinion by the end of December.In Mexico, the authorities on Friday approved the marketing of the vaccine, said Under Secretary of Health Hugo Lopez-Gatell.
Along with the progress of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, French laboratories Sanofi and British GSK suffered a setback: they declared that their anti-COVID vaccine would not be ready until the end of 2021, after less good results than expected in the first clinical trials. They now expect the vaccine to be available in the fourth quarter of 2021, while they were initially targeting a first half license application.