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Moderna will seek emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the month, Moncef Slaoui, the head of Operation “Warp Speed,” the White House effort to develop and administer the vaccine, said Sunday during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week.” 

Pfizer, which also last week announced it had developed a vaccine to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, filed for emergency use authorization Friday. A panel of outside experts that advises the FDA is expected to meet on December 10 to discuss Pfizer’s application for an emergency use authorization.

Slaoui, a former executive at GlaxoSmithKline and Moderna board member, said also Sunday that the Pfizer vaccine could be distributed to some people in the US as early as December 11 if it received an authorization on the same day the panel convenes to discuss it.

As Business Insider previously reported, it’s not likely that most people in the US receive a vaccine this year, as a rollout is likely to prioritize high-priority individuals, including frontline healthcare workers, essential workers, people over 65, and people with preexisting conditions. 

Pressed on any concerns over the lack of communication with Pres.-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, Operation Warp Speed Chief Science Adviser Dr. Moncef Sloaui tells @gstephanpoulos he “can’t see what could derail” the process of vaccine distribution.

— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 22, 2020

Moderna announced on November 16 that its vaccine had been successful in clinical trials, proving 94.5% effective at preventing COVID-19 transmission. On November 18, Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 had been 95% effective during clinical trials.

“The two companies are working 24/7 preparing their files,” Slaoui said Sunday during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week.” “As you know, Pfizer already filed yesterday. Moderna is planning to file by the end of this month. The FDA will review the files.”

Slaoui said the FDA will examine the Moderna vaccine on December 17, one week after a panel of experts is expected to review the Pfizer vaccine in what he described as a “parallel” process. It’s unclear how long it will take for the FDA to approve the vaccines after experts make their recommendation.

Sloui added he was “concerned” with public perception and hesitancy surrounding the vaccine.

“The vaccines have been developed as thoroughly and as scientifically as ever,” he told ABC News. “I have been doing this for more than 30 years. This vaccine development is not different than any other, except that we have gone at an incredibly fast speed with incredible resources and incredible commitment by all the parties.”

SEE ALSO: Americans will hopefully begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as early as December 11, ‘Warp Speed’ advisor says

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