Save on registration for APHA 2024! Join us in Minneapolis ×

FDA vaccine authorization marks hopeful turning point in battle against COVID-19

Date: Dec 12 2020

Contact: Media Relations 

Statement from APHA Executive Director George C. Benjamin, MD

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s decision to authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use is a hopeful beacon in our ongoing fight against this deadly disease. The American Public Health Association applauds this tremendous milestone, which clears the way for millions of at-risk people — including health care workers and other essential personnel — to begin receiving the vaccine in coming weeks.

As we enter this new phase of fighting this devastating disease, it’s critical that the U.S. government implement an expansive public education campaign to build public trust and dispel misinformation around the vaccine. If we’re going to end this pandemic, we must combat distrust, especially among people in minority communities.

The public health community — a trusted, recognized leader in conveying science-based health information — stands ready to work on this endeavor.

Unfortunately, the reality is that even as we widely deploy vaccines, this virus will continue to spread, and many more lives will be lost. So it remains critical that we not let our guard down. Everyone must continue to follow public health guidance to wear masks, keep their distance and wash their hands often to keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe.

While this news is very exciting, let’s be careful not to put the proverbial ‘cart before the horse.’ The race to defeat COVID-19 is far from over.”

To speak to Dr. Benjamin, email APHA media relations or call Bob Ensinger at 202-777-2501.


The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at