‘Have confidence’: Biden on vaccine

US President-elect Joe Biden has urged Americans to have confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine developed by first-rate scientists without political influence, after it was allowed for emergency use in the country, worst-hit by the pandemic.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday issued emergency use authorisation (EAU) to the vaccine developed by American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, paving the way for its use in the country.

"I want to make it clear to the public you should have confidence in this. There is no political influence," Biden said amid the reports of White House pressure on FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn.

"These are first-rate scientists taking their time and looking at all of the elements that need to be looked at. Scientific integrity led us to this point. We know the payments challenges and hard work ahead," Biden, a Democrat, told reporters at Wilmington in Delaware on Friday.

"You know, as tough as things are now, I firmly believe better days are ahead. We got some good news yesterday. The FDA committee I should say recommended emergency use authorisation for Pfizer's BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, but we are grateful for the scientists at these--not only there, but of their great organisations, researchers who developed this vaccine and several others on the way and we are just as grateful to the scientists and the public experts who evaluated its safety and efficiency free from political influence," he said.

The Washington Post said that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had ordered Hahn to approve the vaccine on Friday or submit his resignation, citing sources.

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