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FDA endorses Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine

FDA endorses Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine

FDA endorses Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee has endorsed Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, in a major step toward an epic vaccination campaign that could finally conquer the outbreak.

The group, in a 17-4 vote with one abstention, concluded that the shot appears safe and effective against the coronavirus in people 16 and older.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to follow the recommendation issued Thursday by its expert advisers.

A final FDA decision is expected within days.

The vaccine had already been authorization by officials in Canada and the UK.

An emergency use authorization allows practitioners to administer a vaccine despite it not gaining full FDA approval. The EUA means that the vaccine is allowed to be used in non-clinical settings, which would allow Americans not in a trial or hospital setting to get the vaccine.

Millions of shots would then ship to begin vaccinating health care workers and nursing home residents, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will need to formally recommend the vaccine before health care officials can begin distributing the shots.

Once it is authorized, it is expected that several million doses of the vaccine will immediately begin being distributed throughout the US to high-risk individuals. The first group of those expected to be inoculated includes health care workers and those who live or work in assisted living facilities.

Pfizer says that the vaccine is showing a 95% efficacy against coronavirus infection. It is one of two vaccines that could be approved by the FDA in the next few weeks. Moderna also has a vaccine candidate that is showing the efficacy of 95%.

One concern over the Pfizer vaccine is possible side effects on those prone to allergic reactions. The UK’s National Health Service is advising those prone to allergic reactions to not take the Pfizer vaccine as it investigates two health care workers having apparent reactions after receiving the vaccine.

Once given authorization, officials will be forced to confront two challenges: Public confidence in the vaccine and distribution. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are required to be refrigerated until use, complicating distribution methods.

Also, polls are showing that a significant number of Americans are hesitant to take the vaccine. Public health experts say getting the vast majority of Americans immunized is important in order to reach herd immunity against the virus and to allow for normalcy to return to the US.

In addition to a number of public health experts saying they’ll get the vaccine as a way to instill trust, former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama said they would publicly take the vaccine in order to instill faith in the shot.

Widespread access to the general public is not expected until the spring.

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