Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) became the first drugmakers to win U.S. emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2 over the weekend. On Monday, the first Americans were vaccinated against the coronavirus. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Dec. 11, 2020, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina talked with immunotherapy scientist Dr. Leo Nissola about why Pfizer's vaccine is so important.

Corrine Cardina: Last night, the FDA advisory panel recommended that the FDA does go forward with authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine candidate for emergency use. Today, the FDA confirmed it will pursue that UA for the vaccine.

Secretary of HHS, Alex Azar, has said that this authorization will happen within the next couple of days and that we could see inoculations by Monday. Dr. Nissola, what does this mean that for the US and the world?

Dr. Leo Nissola: Well, first, I hope folks at home understand the uniqueness of this moment. We have never experienced this in our existence. Clinical trials are a complex and lengthy process that I'm not sure we thought it would be possible to deliver a drug in such a short amount of time and it's beautiful to see that it happened.

For us, what it means is that we have now tools to get us out of the pandemic in a safe way. Meaning, we're not going to rely on herd immunity. We're not going to rely on strategies that only cope with the therapeutics for those who get sick, but also preventing people from getting severe COVID-19, and I think this is really important.

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