Senators from Hawai‘i Encouraged by FDA Emergency Use Authorization of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
The Food and Drug Administration issued of an Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.
The approval marks a new step in the US response to the ongoing pandemic.
US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) called it “a day of great hope and promise,” saying, “The emergency use authorization of the first vaccine to prevent COVID-19 means that our frontline health care workers and vulnerable populations in Hawai‘i and across the country will start receiving the vaccine within days. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We can get through this as a community, if we stay safe, keep our distance, and keep our masks on.”
Fellow US Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) called the announcement a “long-awaited milestone in our nation’s fight against COVID-19.” She continued saying, “I commend the many people in government and the private sector whose dedication, professionalism, and ingenuity made this achievement possible. While we celebrate the authorization of the first coronavirus vaccine, we cannot ignore the immense, ongoing human toll of this pandemic – which has already claimed nearly 300,000 lives and is currently surging across the country.”
Both Senators urged ongoing precautions with Sen. Hirono saying, “The authorization of this vaccine alone will not end the pandemic, and all of us must continue doing our part – by wearing a mask, washing our hands, and practicing social distancing.”
“We expect the first doses of this vaccine to be distributed in the coming days, beginning with frontline health care workers and our kupuna living in elder care facilities. I plan to get vaccinated on a timeline determined by the State of Hawaiʻi and based on the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure equitable distribution. I encourage every Hawaiʻi resident and American to do the same.”