Fox News Interviews Admiral Brett Giroir on FDA Pfizer Vaccine Approval

Following news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Fox News brought on Admiral Brett Giroir to discuss the process and criticism that approval had been rushed. Giroir is former White House coronavirus testing czar and former Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS.

Introducing the segment, America's Newsroom host Dana Perino said: "The FDA just giving full approval to Pfizer's COVID vaccine. It's the first vaccine to get that full approval and in record time too; that has critics asking if the process was rushed. Was it?"

Responding to Perino's question about what it would mean to get full approval, Giroir said: "Well, this is a very big moment in Operation Warp Speed history and the history of our vaccines, our fight against the pandemic.

"Prior to this, we had emergency use authorization. What that really meant is that the public health benefits outweigh the known and potential harms. What this says today is we know the benefits, we know the harms and this vaccine is safe and effective and every confidence can be given to that.

"Americans should feel very good, even better than they did yesterday, about getting the vaccine."

Co-host Bill Hemmer asked Giroir "what took so long" for the approval to happen. Giroir responded: "Well, it is a complicated process and I know there are many, many good professionals, incredible professionals at the FDA, I was acting commissioner. It does take a while because all the data is looked at in detail, you know, every page is turned."

Fox News was reporting after the FDA announced today on its website that it had approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which would be used for the prevention of the virus for people aged 16 years and older.

"The FDA's approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA's rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product," said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D.

The statement continued: "While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today's milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S."

While the vaccine has been approved for people aged 16 and older, children aged between 12 and 15 can still receive the jab under the emergency use grant. The administration of a third jab, a so-called booster shot, is also still under emergency use approval for people with suppressed immune systems or certain medical conditions.

Pfizer's vaccine had been given emergency authorization in December 2020.

Correction 8/25/21: This article and headline were updated to correct the context of Fox News host Dana Perino's introduction to discussing criticism of the vaccine approval process.

anti vaxx mum
(File photo) Nurse Practitioner Terri Welch administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a patient at the Haxby and Wigginton Group Medical Practice in Haxby, northern England on December 22, 2020. DIDIER PALLAGES / AFP/Getty Images