On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to the COVID-19 vaccine created by Pfizer — the first vaccine to be authorized for use amid the coronavirus pandemic.
President Donald Trump cheered the news in a speech on Friday, describing the vaccine, which was developed in less than a year, as a “medical miracle.”
Trump: “I have really good news”
“I have really good news,” the president announced in a video posted to Twitter on Friday night. “Today our nation has achieved a medical miracle.”
“We have delivered a safe and effective vaccine in just nine months,” Trump said. “This is one of the greatest scientific accomplishments in history.”
“Through Operation Warp Speed my administration provided a total of $14 billion dollars to accelerate vaccine development and to manufacture all of the top candidates in advance. This included a nearly $2 billion dollar investment in Pfizer to produce 100 million doses of their vaccine with an option to produce 500 million additional doses.”
“Free to all Americans”
“I’m proud to announce that this vaccine will be free to all Americans,” Trump said, adding that the first vaccine will be administered “less than 24 hours.”
Watch Trump’s full remarks below:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2020
A turning point in the pandemic
In all, the 100 million doses will be provided by next March and will be free of cost to Americans under the Trump administration’s agreement with Pfizer, according to the New York Times. The vaccine, which requires two doses, was found to be 95% effective in the final trials.
People in the United Kingdom had already begun receiving the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday after it was approved earlier this month.
Another COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna, which has also been backed by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, is expected to be ready for FDA clearance within days.
“It is clear that if it had not been for Donald Trump’s personal leadership we would not be seeing a Pfizer vaccine and hopefully in the next week a Moderna approved vaccine,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who oversees Operation Warp Speed, on Tuesday.