Bourla has repeatedly said that Pfizer could seek emergency clearance from the FDA in October, the most ambitious target set by one of the vaccine developers whose vaccines are currently in trials in the United States. .
His memo to staff on Thursday stays true to that goal while affirming Pfizer’s independence in the face of heavy pressure from the White House to deliver a shot ahead of Election Day.
“Now we are approaching our goal and despite the lack of political considerations with our pre-announced date, we find ourselves in the crucible of the US presidential election,” Bourla wrote, later adding “we would never succumb to political pressure ”.
Trump said last week he could block the FDA’s proposal to tighten its standards to allow emergency use of Covid-19 vaccines – standards that would almost certainly exclude a vaccine from being ready for use early November. The president also accused the FDA of acting on the basis of political rather than scientific considerations, without offering any evidence to support this claim.