(CNN) The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in the United States. Millions of doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which has been found to be 95% effective, will be soon shipped around the country so vaccinations can begin within days.
An emergency use authorization means what its name suggests: a medical product gets special authorization by the FDA to be used during an emergency — but it is short of a full approval. Pfizer would have to file a separate application for its vaccine to be fully licensed by the FDA.
Dr. Fauci explains importance of vaccine approval process 02:19″The FDA’s authorization for emergency use of the first COVID-19 vaccine is a significant milestone in battling this devastating pandemic that has affected so many families in the United States and around the world,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in a statement on Friday.
“Today’s action follows an open and transparent review process that included input from independent scientific and public health experts and a thorough evaluation by the agency’s career scientists to ensure this vaccine met FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization.