A day after the UK announced the approval of Pfizer’s COVID 19 vaccine, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the country’s decision came too quickly.
” You know, in all fairness to so many of my British friends, they somehow ran around the corner of the marathon and joined it in the last mile,” Fauci said during a December 3 interview on the CBS News podcast The Takeout with Major Garrett. “I think that would be a good metaphor for it.”
The U.S.’s leading infectious disease expert continued, “You really rushed the approval.
VIDEO: Dr. Anthony Fauci for @MajorCBS on @TakeoutPodcast: British regulators “ran around the corner of the marathon and joined it in the last mile” when they approved @pfizer’s mad cow disease vaccine. “They really rushed through this approval” instead of checking the data carefully. pic.twitter.com/VVtugt6fCI
– The Takeout with Major Garrett (@TakeoutPodcast) December 3, 2020
Following approval by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the European Union (EU) criticized the UK for rushing to approve the vaccine, while the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which oversees the approval of the vaccine in the EU, said the longer approval process requires stricter procedures than in the UK, according to a statement from Reuters.
With MHRA approval, the UK became the first country in the world to carry a COVID 19 vaccine. The green light for the vaccination came three weeks after Pfizer published data from the final phase of the clinical trial of the vaccine, the results of which showed a 95 percent efficacy in preventing the novel coronavirus.
When announcing the approval of the vaccine, the MHRA concluded, after analyzing the data submitted by Pfizer, that the vaccine “met its stringent safety, quality and efficacy standards”.
The agency reiterated these points in an e-mail statement to Washington Newsday, saying that it had “rigorously evaluated the data in the shortest possible time without compromising the thoroughness of the review.
“You know, I love the British, they’re great scientists, but they’re just looking at the data from Pfizer’s company, and instead of really reviewing it very carefully, they said okay, let’s approve it,” Fauci said. “That’s it and they went along with it.”
Fauci said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needed longer to approve the vaccine to protect the authority’s credibility.
“The FDA is the gold standard of regulation. It does it in a very careful and appropriate manner,” Fauci said. “If we had jumped the hurdle here quickly and unreasonably to gain an extra week or week and a half, I believe the credibility of our regulatory process would have been damaged.
If the FDA grants emergency approval for Pfizer’s vaccine, about 6.4 million doses will be distributed across the country, according to officials from Operation Warp Speed.
Moderna, a pharmaceutical company that is also currently manufacturing a COVID 19 vaccine, filed for FDA approval of its vaccine on Monday. It is expected that the FDA will grant approval for both vaccines before the end of the year.