Washington: Shipment of Biontech / Pfizer vaccine begins in USA


Washington –

After an emergency approval by the health authority FDA, the delivery of corona vaccines by the Mainz-based pharmaceutical company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer is starting in the USA.

The freight company FedEx announced on Sunday that its subsidiary FedEx Express was starting to transport the vaccine, which was frozen with dry ice.

FDA chief Stephen Hahn called the emergency approval a “significant milestone in the fight against this devastating pandemic”. Biontech co-founder Ugur Sahin said approval and upcoming use of the vaccine would “help save lives and accelerate the return to normal” across the US.

According to media reports, the White House is said to have urged the FDA for immediate emergency approval with threats of release. FDA chief Hahn rejected this on Saturday. “Science and data guided the FDA’s decision,” he said.

US President Donald Trump had called the agency a “big, old, slow turtle”. He promised his compatriots on Twitter the first vaccinations over the weekend. However, the White House expert in charge of vaccination logistics, Gustave Perna, said that vaccinations will only start this Monday.

Pfizer and Biontech had also applied to the European Medicines Agency (Ema) for approval of the corona vaccine; a decision is still pending. At the beginning of the month, the British authorities gave this preparation an emergency approval. Canada, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Mexico followed. Russian and Chinese vaccines are already in use in several countries.

The Republican Trump lost the election in the United States on November 3rd to the Democrat Joe Biden. Experts also attribute this to Trump’s much-criticized pandemic management. After being sworn in on January 20, Biden wants to implement a 100-day plan to fight the corona virus. This includes giving at least 100 million doses of a vaccine within this period.

The pandemic remains out of control in the US. So far, more than 16 million people have become infected. On Saturday, Johns Hopkins University (JHU, Baltimore) recorded 2,368 deaths with a confirmed coronavirus infection. The peak was registered on Friday with more than 3,300 deaths. A total of 297 837 people died with the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen.

The US government has contractually secured the delivery of 100 million vaccine doses from Pfizer / Biontech. The US pharmaceutical company Moderna announced on Friday that the US government was buying another 100 million doses of its vaccine candidate. These cans would be delivered in the second quarter of 2021. The Moderna vaccine has yet to be approved by the FDA. (dpa)

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