Murray: FDA Authorization of COVID-19 Vaccine “Good News” But “Far From Mission Accomplished”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement regarding the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to grant an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’m grateful to the researchers and experts who have worked tirelessly to develop this vaccine and evaluate its safety and efficacy. But while this is good news for the world, it is far from mission accomplished. To go from vaccines on shelves to vaccinations in arms, we are going to have to roll up our sleeves—literally and figuratively.

“The undertaking ahead—rapidly and equitably distributing and administering this vaccine across the nation at no cost to patients—is enormous, and I remain deeply concerned the Trump Administration’s preparations so far are not adequate for the task at hand. The fragments of a plan we’ve seen from them don’t come close to the comprehensive national vaccines plan I have called for, and leave far too many unanswered questions about what happens next. Will we be able to get enough PPE? How can we store, transport, and distribute vaccines at super cold temperatures most efficiently? What are we doing to promote vaccine confidence?

“States and Tribes need more leadership from the federal government, as well as serious funding from Congress dedicated specifically to vaccine distribution. They’ve gotten very little of either so far—and I’m not going to stop until that changes. I’m glad the incoming Biden Administration is already showing it understands the enormity of this challenge, and I look forward to working with them to tackle it.”