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FDA chief says agency will quickly approve Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for emergency use

A vial of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen ahead of being administered at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, Northern Ireland December 8, 2020.

Liam McBurney | Pool | Reuters

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is “rapidly” working toward clearing Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use after a key panel overwhelmingly endorsed the shots Thursday evening, Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement on Friday.

“Following yesterday’s positive advisory committee meeting outcome regarding the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has informed the sponsor that it will rapidly work toward finalization and issuance of an emergency use authorization,” Hahn said in a statement.

“The agency has also notified the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed, so they can execute their plans for timely vaccine distribution,” he said.

Hahn’s comments come the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Thursday voted 17 to 4 with one abstention to to recommend the vaccine, which the company developed alongside BioNTech, for emergency authorization.

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates.