STATEMENT: FDA Emergency Use Authorization Approval Underscores the Need for Congress To Pass Funding for COVID-19 Vaccines

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s emergency use authorization application for their COVID-19 vaccine. The approval follows a Thursday vote of confidence among a group of medical experts tasked with reviewing the companies’ vaccine safety and efficacy data. Topher Spiro, vice president for Health Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement on the announcement:

Today’s FDA announcement marks a historic milestone for science and our country’s ability to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, Congress has fallen short in providing the necessary funding and flexibility needed to stand up community vaccination clinics that will be needed—particularly in rural and low-income communities—to achieve widespread vaccination as rapidly as possible. Unless that changes, states will be hamstrung in effectively administering COVID-19 vaccines, potentially wasting precious doses of an already-limited supply. With more than 3,000 Americans dying each day as a result of the virus, our leaders must come together and provide the resources necessary for this unprecedented logistical effort.

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