As Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Began in US, Head of Pfizer Tells Why He Hasn’t Taken Shot Yet


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On Monday, people in the United States started receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, developed in cooperation between the US-based Pfizer and the German-based BioNTech SE companies. The vaccine was authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday.

Albert Bourla, Pfizer Inc. CEO, on Monday, during an interview with CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, explained why he hasn’t taken the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine developed by his company, suggesting that the actual reason is that he doesn’t want to “cut the queue” voted on by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“I haven’t taken it yet and we are having an ethical committee dealing with the question of who is getting it,” Bourla told Gupta.

The Greek business executive pointed out the Pfizer is “very sensitive” in avoiding the violation of priority guidelines issued by the US Food and Drug Administration that indicate frontline health workers must receive the vaccine first.

“Given that there are very strict allocation rules that the CDC has voted [on], we are very sensitive not to cut the queue and have the people getting vaccinated before,” Bourla stated.

The Pfizer CEO said that he expects to be administered the jab in the near future, as it’s reasonable that the FDA may recommend that he get vaccinated to improve people’s trust in the vaccine’s safety.

“People will believe much more [in the safety of the vaccine] if the CEO gets vaccinated,” said in the interview.

On Monday, a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center named Sandra Lindsay became the first person in the US to receive a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, after she was administered the drug on camera, kicking off the mass anti-coronavirus vaccination programme in the world’s biggest pandemic hotspot.

On Friday, the US-based Pfizer and the German-based BioNTech SE companies received permission from the FDA to begin the use of the vaccine in the US.

As of Monday, the US has registered over 16.35 million COVID-19 infection cases, along with at least 299,889 deaths, according to the data collated by Johns Hopkins University.

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