The U.K.'s monumental approval for Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine turned heads worldwide, but one of the leading voices in the USA pandemic response argues the country's regulators acted too quickly.
"This authorisation is a goal we have been working toward since we first declared that science will win", he said. We do not yet know how long it will take to move through the priority levels. It's a process that would "typically take us months", Hahn told the newspaper, but could be complete in under a month after Pfizer's November 20 filing.
Britain broke from the European Union's regulatory orbit to approve a vaccine early, owing to emergency powers that the bloc gives countries in the case of a pandemic.
However, he said: "The FDA in the United States, I think, everyone realises globally is the gold standard of regulatory function".
Health Canada's chief medical adviser said last week that several vaccine candidates are under review, and the first could be approved sometime this month. Pregnant women and children under 16 will not be included in this group because there is not enough safety data for this vaccine in these groups.
Pfizer plans to ship 800,000 doses to Britain in the coming days.
Fortin adds Pfizer will be the first vaccine to arrive with deliveries expected in early January. In a media briefing this week, Pfizer executive Ralf Rene Reinert said the regulator quickly responded to new data throughout the process, sometimes in around 10 minutes, according to the WSJ.
The province also announced that students in grades 7 to 12 would have to learn remotely for two weeks after the holiday break to curb the spread of COVID-19, with exceptions being made for those with special needs.
Dr Fauci believes America will gain approval for the vaccine very soon, as the FDA continues its review and approval process. The US Food and Drug Administration is set to convene its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on December 10 to review emergency approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
There are almost a million doses ready in the United Kingdom, with 40 million on order.
"Ultimately, each provincial and territorial government is responsible for deciding how to deploy COVID-19 vaccines within their jurisdiction and immunizing Canadians, with the support of provincial and territorial health care workers", said Dr. Njoo. In addition, some developing countries in Asia with the biggest outbreaks don't have deals with Pfizer, and lack the means to distribute and store the vaccine, which needs to be kept at a deep freeze.
Who will be vaccinated first in Britain?
Chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said that while cases had dropped somewhat, the health-care system remained under strain, with nearly half of the 106 intensive care beds in the province being used by people with COVID-19.
He added he is hopeful that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, which "should be a whole lot easier and more deployable in multiple NHS [National Health Service] settings", could be "as easy as the flu vaccine" to handle.
Eventually vaccination centres will be set up across the country, and it is planned that Global Positioning System will administer the vaccine.