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Fauci: Britain Was a Little Too Quick With Vaccine

Approval was based on company data and rushed, expert says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2020 3:38 PM CST

(Newser) – We need coronavirus vaccines quickly, but not before their time. Dr. Anthony Fauci was critical Thursday of Britain's quick green light for a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, Politico reports. "They really rushed through that approval," Fauci said. Britain became the first Western nation to OK a drug, but on a CBS podcast, "The Takeout," Fauci said the UK "kind of ran around the corner of the marathon and joined it in the last mile." In the US, the FDA does its own analyses on data from drugmakers. Britain's process is different. "They're good scientists,” Fauci said. "But they just took the data from the Pfizer company. And instead of scrutinizing it really, really carefully, they said, ‘OK, let's approve it. That's it.'" There also was mild irritation expressed by European officials at Britain's decision and its boasting, per the Washington Post.

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One UK official tweeted that his nation had "led humanity's charge" against the disease. It's for the best that the FDA hasn't cut corners in an attempt to be first, said Fauci, calling the agency the "gold standard of regulation." And when a vaccine is ready, he said he'll get his shot on camera, to help increase public acceptance, "as soon as my turn comes up." Fauci said athletes, entertainers, and clergy are among those who can help encourage Americans to be vaccinated, per the Hill. Also on Thursday, Fauci was scheduled to meet with President-elect Joe Biden's transition team. It will be his first formal talks with Biden staff members about the pandemic, per NBC. (Three former presidents are willing to be vaccinated publicly.)

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