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Washington, 11 Dec (EFE).
U.S. Health Department Secretary Alex Azar announced on Friday that the approval of the Pfizer vaccine is “very close” and will receive the go-ahead “probably” in the next two days, so it could begin distribution on Monday or Tuesday of next week.
In an interview with ABC, Azar revealed that “very recently” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had informed the American company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, that their vaccine was finally going to be licensed.
“In the next two days, while we are negotiating with Pfizer to get the information that doctors need to properly prescribe it, we should probably see the authorization of this first vaccine. We will be working with Pfizer to transport those shipments, so we could see people being vaccinated on Monday or Tuesday of next week,” Azar said.
Specifically, the FDA will grant Pfizer what is known as “emergency authorization,” that is, an extraordinary permit that will serve to accelerate the distribution of the vaccine against Covid-19 while more data continues to be collected to authorize it definitively.
The FDA, the United States regulatory body charged with approving drugs, also announced Friday that it has told Pfizer that it will “quickly” grant “emergency clearance” to begin immunizing millions of Americans.
This decision comes after a committee of independent experts recommended Thursday that the FDA urgently approve Pfizer’s vaccine, which is administered in two doses, 21 days apart, and is 95% effective.
If the FDA finally decides to approve Pfizer’s vaccine, the U.S. will become the fifth country in the world to approve the remedy after the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, and Saudi Arabia.
Between Pfizer’s vaccine and Moderna’s, whose approval could come next week, Donald Trump’s government plans to distribute 40 million doses this December to 20 million people.
The approval of the Pfizer vaccine could come at a key moment, given that the U.S. is registering on average more than 200,000 cases per day, and close to 3,000 deaths every 24 hours.
This Thursday, in fact, the U.S. broke through the 3,000 daily death barrier for the first time since the start of the pandemic, according to an independent count from Johns Hopkins University.
The latest data from Johns Hopkins University indicate that 15,599,122 people have been infected in the U.S. and 292,001 have died, more than in any other country in the world.