White House presses Hahn to approve vaccine by end of day


FILE – In this Sept. 23, 2020 file photo, Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, testifies during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Hahn said Thursday’s meeting on Dec. 10 of the vaccine advisory panel is “an important day for all of America.” He hopes it will lead to the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP, File)

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Friday pressed Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn to grant an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of the day.

The vaccine won approval Thursday from an FDA panel of outside advisers, and signoff from the FDA is the next step needed to get the shots to the public.

Meadows spoke to Hahn by telephone on Friday, according to a senior official familiar with the call but not authorized to discuss private conversations.

Hahn signaled that he would tell regulators to do so, the official said.

President Donald Trump has been pressing for quick approval for the vaccine.

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