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Pfizer begins process of seeking full U.S. vaccine approval: RPT

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Yahoo Finance’s Anjalee Khemlani reports the latest developments on the coronavirus vaccines.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: Let's turn now to the coronavirus pandemic. A lot of news coming out there. Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking FDA approval for their vaccine. We have Yahoo Finance's health reporter Anjalee Khemlani here with those details and more. Hi, Anjalee.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Hey, Kristin. Yeah, so we know that Pfizer had intended to apply for full approval with its partner BioNTech. And that is now coming to fruition. They've started the process and will be on a rolling basis submitting the details and data, as well as clinical trial data to the FDA. We heard officials say today that it could take a couple of months. And while this is not the same as the emergency use authorization with the constraint and pressure that they felt earlier last year, we're likely to see this take a little-- just a little bit longer, but not too long.

Because experts are saying that this could help alleviate vaccine hesitancy, as well as help with some of those employers or schools or et cetera, who are looking to mandate vaccines, where there are questions on whether or not an authorized versus fully approved vaccine can fall under that mandate. In addition, once it is also-- once it is fully approved, Pfizer can, in fact, start marketing the vaccine, which is now restricted under emergency use authorization. So that's what we know as of right now. Moderna did say yesterday during an earnings call that they are likely to follow suit this month.

Meanwhile, negotiations going on with the World Trade Organization, the US supporting the idea of sharing vaccine technology with the world in order to help produce more vaccines. The EU also came on board with one exception. Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel did say that she is not in support of this thing, that it could cause issues within the drug industry and make it more complex, as well as remove the incentive that drug makers have to continue to make vaccines, as well as respond to any future pandemic.

And that's one side of the argument. We've also heard experts say that it might not even be realistically possible for these vaccine makers to have any real impact any time soon. Because mRNA especially, the technology that's behind Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech, is very new. There has been no large scale logistics or infrastructure set up before this pandemic. And so it's unlikely that they're going to be able to build up at scale in time to produce any significant volume of vaccine. So that's where things stand right now. Back to you guys.