CORONAVIRUS

FDA may approve vaccine earlier than expected

FDA chief Stephen Hahn says there will be no bowing to political pressure but the Emergency Use Authorization program could produce a vaccine by November.

FDA may approve vaccine earlier than expected
Dado Ruvic REUTERS

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States there have been more than six million confirmed cases in the country and over 180,000 people have died from the virus. Health experts have been working on a vaccine for months and the head of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that vaccines currently under development may be given emergency approval.

Health officials warn that approving vaccines too soon can be risky, so Stephen Hahn, the head of the FDA, explained how they plan to handle the “outside pressure” in order to approve the vaccine before it is ready.

"There's been pressure throughout this pandemic and I think anybody who doesn't acknowledge that would be kidding themselves. There's been pressure to make sure that we get medical products as quickly as possible to the American people," Hahn said.

Vaccine could be ready next month

Hahn told CBS News that if everything goes as planned the vaccine will move to a Phase III trial and there is the possibility that it could be ready by election day under the Emergency Use Authorization program.

Donald Trump has been pressuring the FDA regarding development of a Covid-19 vaccine because the president wants it to be ready before he faces Joe Biden in the 3 November presidential elections with the Democratic challenger holding a lead in the polls. Hahn said that the agency “will not make that decision on the basis of politics.”