Saturday, November 27

US health secretary Azar defends vaccine process, tests negative for COVID-19

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His comments come amid rising concerns among public health experts and citizens that a vaccine could be rushed without proper safety, in part because of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

The Washington Post reported last month that in an attempt to boost public trust, the FDA planned to announce new, more stringent standards for an emergency use authorization (EUA) of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Trump then said that he may or may not approve any new FDA standards, and the agency has not released any new guidance.

When asked if the White House would interfere with the new guidelines, Azar said the White House would need to sign off on any new public guidance, but that it would be consistent with letters the FDA had already sent to vaccine manufacturers stating the requirements for an EUA.

“I think this is a mountain out of a molehill because the FDA has already told the manufacturers what they’re going to look for and that is what it is,” Azar said.

(Reporting by Carl O’Donnell in New York and Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington Editing by Dan Grebler and Matthew Lewis)