Pfizer and partner BioNTech confirmed they will seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration on Friday for emergency usage of their new COVID-19 vaccine, a major step forward in a fight against a pandemic that has killed more people in the U.S. than any other nation.

"Hope and help are on the way," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, a point person in the Trump administration's push to develop a safeguard against the disease, said the night before.

“Our work to deliver a safe and effective vaccine has never been more urgent, as we continue to see an alarming rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 globally," Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

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"Filing in the U.S. represents a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world and we now have a more complete picture of both the efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine, giving us confidence in its potential," he added.

Pfizer and BioNTech are currently in Phase 3 trials on the vaccine, which is 95% effective, as is rival pharmaceutical giant, Moderna.

"Two vaccines, each with 95% efficacy, rivaling the 98% efficacy of our measles vaccine," Azar said during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on Thursday. "Produced in some of the largest vaccine clinical trials ever conducted in history." Read more at FOX Business