Statement of Sen. Mark R. Warner on the FDA Approving Emergency Use Authorization for First U.S. COVID-19 Vaccine
Dec 11 2020
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement following an announcement from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approving an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine candidate to control the spread of COVID-19:
“Today’s announcement by the FDA is much-needed good news for the families and communities who’ve lost a loved one to the virus and for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 response efforts – especially as the U.S. reached a devastating COVID-19 milestone just this week, with cases only surging by the day.
“Earlier this year, Congress provided emergency funding to accelerate the development of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to the American public. I want to commend the scientific community for accomplishing this task in an unprecedented amount of time. Now, we must build upon this achievement to ensure the vaccine is quickly and fairly distributed to our nation’s health care and essential workers, high-risk Americans, and communities disproportionately hit by the virus.
“Despite this momentous breakthrough, we must not let our guards down. As health officials boost vaccine production for public distribution, we must continue to follow public health guidance on frequent handwashing, mask wearing, and social distancing. While I welcome this good news, the best way to keep our communities safe and slow the spread is by following these necessary steps.”
Throughout this health crisis, Sen. Warner has pushed to make sure that we have the resources and data needed to understand the scope of the crisis and its effect on diverse communities. In March, Sen. Warner supported the CARES Act which directed more than $10 billion in funding to help accelerate, develop, and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine under Operation Warp Speed. Then, in April, Sen. Warner joined his colleagues in urging pharmaceutical companies engaged in COVID-19-related work to prioritize diversity in any coronavirus vaccine or trial to ensure that new treatments work for all Americans. Earlier this week, Sen. Warner led his Senate colleagues in a letter to the Trump Administration urging HHS and the CDC to ensure a fair and equitable vaccine distribution.