The US Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the first drug to prevent Covid-19 approved in the US.
The FDA commissioner, Dr Stephen Hahn, confirmed the news in a statement on Friday night.
“The FDA’s authorization for emergency use of the first Covid-19 vaccine is a significant milestone in battling this devastating pandemic that has affected so many families in the United States and around the world,” Hahn said.
The approval marks a turning point in a pandemic that has claimed more than 294,000 American lives and 1.5 million lives globally.
The US follows other countries, including the UK, Canada and Mexico, which have also authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for broader public use.