There may finally be hope as we inch closer to the end of a pandemic filled 2020 year. On Friday, in a letter to Pfizer, Food and Drug Administration Chief Scientist Denise Hinton authorized the emergency use of the medical company’s covid vaccine. The United States has struggled to maintain a hold on the virus as total cases reach more than 16 million and 300,000 deaths. In total, there have been 72 million cases worldwide. The CDC has recommended frontline workers and the elderly received the vaccine first. Pfizer plans to release 50 million vaccines to the public by year’s end.
Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine arrives at a time in our nation where many are feeling the impact economically. While a full approval usually takes between 5 to 6 months, going through many trials before ever seeing the mass public. Emergency use highlights the dire need for a solution after 9 months. With federal backing, Pfizer can speed up the distribution of the vaccine to the States. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, spoke about the importance of Prizer’s vaccine.
“With science guiding our decision-making, the available safety and effectiveness data support the authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine because the vaccine’s known and potential benefits clearly outweigh its known and potential risks,” he said.
Starting Monday, the government plans to distribute more than 2.9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine within 24 hours, with another 2.9 million after 21 days. The Pfizer vaccine has to be administered three weeks apart according to Gen. Gustave Perna, who is in charge of President Trump’s vaccine program Operation Warp Speed.
Many are wary of the process and time that it took for the coronavirus vaccine to be approved. The nation is divided on if the vaccine is too good to be true. Many American citizens compare it to something like the Cold War Arms Race. The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is the fastest ever vaccine to be developed. The closest vaccine in comparison came with the mumps. The vaccine then took four years to develop and was licensed in 1967.
The United States is on the brink of a complete shutdown. Hospitals across the nation are recording insane numbers. Over the last 5 days, the U.S. has reported over 196,200 cases. Many states have issued another round of shutdowns for businesses and indoor dining. As the holiday season is in full swing, many American citizens opted to not travel during the Thanksgiving season as the CDC urged. With Thanksgiving out of the way, health workers and leaders set on controlling one of the biggest holiday shopping days, Christmas. Time will tell how the recent vaccine will play into the beginning of the 2021 year.