UPDATED 9:39 AM PT – Thursday, December 10, 2020
FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said he will not pre-judge what an advisory panel may say during Thursday’s meeting regarding emergency approval of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In a recent interview, Dr. Hahn said the plan is to take the panel’s recommendation into account before the FDA makes its own decision. He noted the panel’s meeting is more than a formality, stating it’s important to maintain the transparency around the decision process.
The FDA commissioner added, it’s important that people carefully weigh whether or not to get the shot. He pointed out that enough Americans need vaccinations to achieve herd immunity.
“We need to get to herd immunity and that requires a substantial percentage of Americans to be vaccinated,” Dr. Hahn explained. “So that’s why we’ve been transparent, it’s why we want this public discussion of the data, it’s why we’ve been very careful about the review of the data and we’ll make a very careful decision.”
Right now, the FDA’s Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), is meeting to discuss the first request for emergency use authorization for a vaccine for #COVID19 prevention. https://t.co/91gzUFYbOP
— Dr. Stephen M. Hahn (@SteveFDA) December 10, 2020
The advisory meeting is scheduled to run until 6 p.m. EST with the vote likely to happen at the end of the meeting. The FDA would then decide if it will approve the vaccine for emergency use, which could come as early as Friday.