Effectiveness beyond expectations: Trump: BioNTech vaccine to be approved “very, very quickly” | message
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The effectiveness of the vaccine recently announced by the manufacturers “exceeds all expectations by far,” said Trump on Friday in the rose garden of the White House. The US government has contractually secured the delivery of 100 million vaccine doses and has the option to get millions more doses quickly. Trump entered the November 3rd election with the promise of a vaccine that would soon be available, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.
The USA is recording new highs of new infections with the coronavirus every day. 184,514 cases were registered on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) on Saturday morning. That was around 31,000 more than the day before. The US recorded the highest number of cases of infection with the virus within 24 hours since the start of the pandemic.
The Mainz-based company Biotech and the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer are reportedly planning to apply to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency approval for the vaccine this month. Both companies recently announced that their vaccine offers more than 90 percent protection against coronavirus infection according to initial findings. They want to provide 50 million vaccine doses this year and around 1.3 billion in 2021 – worldwide. The vaccine must be specially refrigerated and administered twice per person in order to be effective.
The criteria for emergency approval by the FDA are not very demanding. Roughly speaking, it must be proven that a drug or vaccination helps more than harms. For a full approval by the FDA, however, there are significantly higher hurdles – this should therefore take significantly longer.
With a view to the expected emergency approvals, the US government plans to have around 20 million of the 330 million people in the country vaccinated as early as December. In January and the following months, around 25 to 30 million should then be vaccinated, said the government representative responsible for the vaccination program Moncef Slaoui at the joint appearance with Trump in the rose garden. As soon as more vaccines are approved, the number can be increased significantly. According to Slaoui, who has been in the for a long time Pharmaceutical industry worked, another drug could get emergency approval from the FDA in addition to the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech.
The US government’s large-scale vaccination project is called Operation Warp Speed. Trump, who is accused by critics of bungling crisis management in the pandemic, describes the program as an unparalleled success story worldwide.
The newly elected US President Biden called on Friday for urgent immediate government action to contain the pandemic. After a meeting with his Corona Expert Council, Biden stated in a written message that the facts presented by the medical professionals were alarming.
The crisis requires an immediate, decisive response from the Washington government, Biden said. Unfortunately this does not exist yet. “I am the elected president, but I will not be president until next year,” said Biden, with a view to taking office on January 20. “The crisis did not respect any dates in the calendar, it is now accelerating.”
Across the country, infections, hospital admissions and deaths were all increasing, Biden said. “Our doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are under enormous and increasing pressure.” It will take many months before an effective corona vaccine is generally available. “Urgent action is required today, now, from the current government – starting with an admission of the grave current situation.”
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