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What is emergency use authorization?

Health care workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.


Joia Crear-Perry, MD explains that emergency use authorization doesn’t mean any steps were cut when developing the COVID vaccines.


The vaccines that are currently available were approved through a process called emergency authorization, which we need. We need to have the ability when there is an emergency to have medications on the market to meet that need.

There are going to be future emergencies. This is not the first and it won’t be the last. There’s an opportunity for us to really say, “Yes, we have an average time that it takes to make—take a medication to market.” And if that’s on average, there are some medicines that take longer.

I mean, and there are some medicines that we need today. And, so, we know that hundreds of thousands of people are dying in the United States alone, much less around the world.

And, so, having an emergency authorization for these medications was critical, but that doesn’t mean any steps were cut. That doesn’t mean that it’s not safe and it’s not effective. That just means we needed it today. And we did. And we’re happy that it’s here.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decisions. Click here for vaccine FAQs from the CDC.

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