Minutes after the FDA announced full approval for Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine Fox News ran a segment that kicked off with the host suggesting the approval was "rushed," only to have another host ask, "what took so long?"
"Fox News alert. FDA just giving full approval to Pfizer's COVID vaccine," said Fox News host Dana Perino. "It's the first vaccine to get that full approval and in record time. Critics asking if the process was rushed. Was it? Let's bring in admiral Brett Giroir former assistant secretary and testing czar. Tell us, sir, about what this moment means to get full approval."
"This is a very big moment in Operation Warp Speed history and in the history of our vaccines in the fight against the pandemic," responded Giroir. "Prior to this, we had emergency use authorization. What that really meant is that the public health benefits outweighed the known and potential harm. What this says today is we know the benefits, we know the harms, and this vaccine is safe and effective, and every confidence can be given to that. American's should feel very good, even better than they did yesterday about getting the vaccine."
"What took so long?" host Bill Hemmer asked.
"Well, it is a complicated process and I know there are many, many good professionals, incredible professionals at the FDA," Giroir said. "It does take awhile, because all the date is looked at in detail."
Last week, Media Matters claimed that in a six week period this summer "nearly 60%" of Fox News' "vaccine segments included claims undermining or downplaying vaccinations."
(Note: This article has been updated for clarity.)