Americans could start getting the first coronavirus vaccines within days if the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday gives its emergency use authorization to Pfizer's candidate, Adm. Brett Giroir, the testing czar for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said Monday.
"As we've told the American people multiple times, we're not skipping any steps in safety and effectiveness," said Giroir on Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "What you will see on Thursday is the independent advisory committee that will advise the FDA on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. All the data we've seen thus far of Pfizer and Moderna have been very positive. This is an open, transparent process."
The FDA will take its signal from the advisory committee, and within 24 hours of the authorization "we'll have a vaccine ready to go, and 24 hours after that (we'll be) providing the first lifesaving shots into people's arms."
Giroir also downplayed concerns being voiced by many about the safety of a vaccine that was developed so quickly.
"The corners we've cut are only to take financial risks," said Giroir. "Instead of doing things sequentially the government invested billions of dollars into manufacturing and other steps...these vaccines have been tested in well over 30,000 people. The effectiveness is over 90%, probably 94 to 95% and almost completely effective in preventing severe disease."
He added that if the FDA approves the vaccine, everyone should have high confidence.
"My mother, myself, my grandchildren will be first in line when it comes to our time on the list to be vaccinated," said Giroir. "I am 60 years old. I have hypertension. So I'm in one of the groups that will be prioritized but not the first groups."
Giroir on Monday also addressed the growing controversy about shutdowns in many of the nation's cities, saying he has not seen any data that says outdoor dining or outdoor bars need to be shut down.
"it's time to nuance. This is not March or April. This is December. We know what the science says, we know there are countermeasures that are effective," he said.
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