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U.S. FDA chief defends process for approving COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn testifies before the U.S. Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee at a hearing to examine COVID-19, focusing on an update on the federal response at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., September 23, 2020. Alex Edelman/Pool via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn defended the FDA’s process for approving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday and denied claims by President Donald Trump that the vaccine could have been available a week sooner.

“We do not feel that this could have been out a week earlier,” Hahn said on ABC’s “This Week,” noting that the FDA went through its process appropriately and that he felt “very confident” in the decisions the agency made.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Lisa Shumaker