Pfizer/BioNTech file for emergency approval for virus vaccine Nov 22, 2020 0 416 12345 AFPWashingtonPfizer confirmed on Friday and that it and partner BioNTech have applied for emergency use authorization for their coronavirus vaccine, becoming the first to do so in the US or Europe as the pandemic rages around the world.The vaccine has been developed with breathtaking speed -- just 10 months after the genetic code of the novel coronavirus was first sequenced.“Yes. We have submitted,” a Pfizer spokesman told AFP, confirming the filing to the US Food and Drug Administration.The announcement had been expected for several days, after the companies said that a completed study of trials of the product showed it was 95 percent effective in protecting people from infection. The announcement also confirms what BioNTech’s CEO told AFP Thursday.“Filing in the US represents a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world and we now have a more complete picture of both the efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine, giving us confidence in its potential,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in an earlier statement.The vaccine has been under evaluation for weeks in the European Union, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom, the companies said.“The companies will be ready to distribute the vaccine candidate within hours after authorization,” their statement said.The Food and Drug Administration has not said how long it will take to study the vaccine data, but the government expects to give the green light for the vaccine in the first two weeks of December.The European Union could also move quickly on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, perhaps as soon as the second half of December, according to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.Hot on the heels of these companies is a vaccine developed by another biotech firm, Moderna, which says its product is also about 95 percent effective.The speed with which these vaccines have been developed as the pandemic wreaks havoc around the world has no precedent. Over the past decade, the vaccines authorized in the US have taken an average of eight years to develop. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES G20 leaders meet online to grapple with Covid-19 fallout Nov 22, 2020 0 532 Trump’s son Don Jr tests positive for Covid-19 Nov 22, 2020 0 407 ‘Numbers don’t lie:’ Walls close in on defiant Trump Nov 22, 2020 0 52 Hong Kong, Singapore travel bubble popped by virus spike Hong Kong: A planned travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore was scrapped a day before its launch on Saturday after the southern Chinese city announced a sudden spike in coronavirus cases. The decision is both a blow .. Twitter to hand @POTUS account to Biden on inauguration day Washington: Twitter confirmed on Saturday it will hand control of the presidential @POTUS account to Joe Biden when he is sworn in on inauguration day, even if President Donald Trump has not conceded his election loss. .. Erdogan urges dialogue with EU, says Turkey’s future in Europe Istanbul: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday called on the European Union for dialogue, warning the bloc not to become a tool for enmity during escalating tensions over the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey’s .. Demonstrations held in France against planned security law dpa Paris Several thousand people demonstrated against a planned security law in France on Saturday, with protests taking place in Paris, Lille and Montpellier. The draft legislation, which was passed in part by the ..