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Azar says Pfizer vaccine to get rapid authorization

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will grant emergency use authorization to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech.

“We could see people getting vaccinated Monday, Tuesday of next week,” Azar said.

The news comes a day after an independent committee voted in an eight-hour public hearing Thursday to recommend authorization.

Mass vaccinations could begin within days for hundreds of thousands of frontline health care workers and nursing home residents, a potential turning point in the country’s bitter battle against the virus. The vaccine authorization process is taking place as the U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus moves closer to 300,000.