FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington DC prior to the Senate Health, Education, Work and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on June 30, 2020 in Washington DC.
Kevin Dietsch | AFP | Getty Images
The head of the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that he had "no intention" to override professional scientists at the agency's approval of a coronavirus vaccine despite the authority to do so.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said all published vaccine data will be publicly discussed by an advisory committee of outside experts and Peter Marks, who heads the FDA's department overseeing vaccine approval, will ultimately make a recommendation.
"I will be informed about it all the time as Commissioner. I will have the opportunity to see the data," said Hahn during a virtual Q&A with the Economic Club. "I can tell you during this pandemic, during my tenure as Commissioner, that I have not reversed a decision made by the professional scientists on medical devices. And I have no intention of doing this now."
Hahn's remarks come after infectious disease experts and scientists have raised concerns over the past few weeks that President Donald Trump is pressuring the FDA to approve a vaccine before it's adequately tested. Hahn insisted the FDA wasn't pressured by Trump to expedite a vaccine, telling the Financial Times last month the agency was ready to bypass the full federal approval process to get a Covid-19 vaccine available as soon as possible.
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