Fauci criticizes UK’s Pfizer vaccine move: ‘They really rushed through that approval’
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on Thursday that the United Kingdom “really rushed through” its approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The U.K. approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine on Wednesday, making it the first Western nation to approve a coronavirus vaccine.
“In all fairness to so many of my U.K. friends, they kind of ran around the corner of the marathon and joined in at the last mile,” Fauci told CBS correspondent Major Garrett on “The Takeout” podcast. “I think that would be a good metaphor for it … because they really rushed through that approval.”
Fauci further said that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is “the gold standard of regulation,” and applauded the agency for not rushing to approve a vaccine, which he said would only fuel skepticism about it.
“We have enough problem with people being skeptical about taking the vaccine anyway, if we had jumped over the hurdle here quickly and inappropriately to gain an extra week or a week and a half, I think that the credibility of our regulatory process would have been damaged,” he said.
VIDEO: Dr. Anthony Fauci to @MajorCBS on @TakeoutPodcast: British regulators “ran around the corner of the marathon and joined it in the last mile” in approving the @pfizer covid vaccine. “They really rushed through that approval” instead of scrutinizing the data closely. pic.twitter.com/VVtugt6fCI
— The Takeout w/ Major Garrett (@TakeoutPodcast) December 3, 2020
Fauci gave similar criticism of the vaccine approval in an interview on Fox News, in which he said the U.K. did not review the data as carefully as the FDA is.
“We have the gold standard of a regulatory approach with the FDA,” Fauci said. “The U.K. did not do it as carefully and they got a couple of days ahead.”
The FDA is set to make a decision on emergency use authorization of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine candidate as early as next week. It must be stored at around negative 94 degrees Fahrenheit, potentially complicating international distribution, but Pfizer says it has developed technology that will properly regulate the temperature.