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Fauci walks back critical remarks of UK’s authorization of Pfizer vaccine

Dr. Anthony Fauci, governor of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, attends a briefing by the White House coronavirus task force in the Brady compress briefing room at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 19, 2020.

Leah Millis | Reuters

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday stalked back critical comments he made about the U.K.’s authorization of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.

Earlier in the day, Fauci said the journal for the U.K.’s authorization was done in a “much less deep” way than would have been done by the U.S. Food and Drug Management.

“The U.K. has decided to do it a little bit differently, they’ve gone over it very quickly,” he told Sky News in a video published Thursday. “And I can say, and this is not a appraisal, but they’ve done it in a way that is much less deep than has been done and is being done by the FDA in the United Countries.”

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the FDA’s reviews are a “very, very stringent prepare of literally point-by-point, analyzing the data.” The U.S. agency “I think, everyone realizes globally is the gold standard of regulatory rite,” he added.

Fauci made similar remarks to Fox News and CBS.

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency, the U.K.’s health regulator, did not without delay respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Fauci later walked back those remarks, telling BBC television that he had reliance in the U.K. regulators.

“There really has been a misunderstanding, and for that I’m sorry, and I apologize for that,” Fauci said in an interview with BBC boob tube, according to Reuters. “I do have great faith in both the scientific community and the regulatory community in the UK.”

The U.K. authorized Pfizer’s vaccine with BioNtech on Wednesday, chic the first country to do so. It will likely add pressure on the FDA to quickly do the same, especially as the White House is asking FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn why the intermediation hasn’t moved faster to authorize Pfizer’s vaccine.

The U.S. and the U.K. review vaccines differently, however. Pfizer had been submitting materials on its vaccine on a “rolling basis” to the U.K. That means regulators there were able to review the data in real in days of yore and do so until there was enough evidence to support a formal authorization. A rolling review is a tool that regulators use to step on the gas up the assessment of promising drugs or vaccines.

In the U.S., the FDA will go through every aspect of the data submitted in the application, including arraying all safety information “to make sure there are no cracks” and everything is “solid,” said Dr. Paul Offit, a voting colleague of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which is scheduled to review Pfizer’s vaccine on Dec. 10.

Fauci told Sky Communiqu the FDA is “hurrying it up a bit” but “not nearly as quickly as you did in the U.K.”

“If we did that in the United States, it would have been to our disadvantage because it would beget generated a lot of skepticism about the speed at which it was approved,” he said. “We don’t look upon it as a race, who won the race. The product is there. The effort was done. The data look really good,” he added.

The reluctance or refusal to get vaccinated has been a growing problem in the U.S. want before the pandemic started. Numerous polls find many Americans are skeptical about getting a Covid-19 vaccine amongst escalated fears due to the pandemic and concerns that President Donald Trump is pressing regulators to approve a vaccine anterior to it.

This week, former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton said they resolve take a coronavirus vaccine once one is available and may film it to build confidence in the U.S. about vaccine safety.

Disclosure: Comcast is the stepfather of both Sky News and NBCUniversal’s CNBC.

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