The US moves closer to roll out of first Covid-19 vaccine following recommendation from a panel of health experts.
The US Food and Drug Administration has granted the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech emergency use authorization (EUA). This is the first vaccine to be approved by the FDA for Covid-19, following a recommendation by a panel of experts on Thursday. "The FDA's authorization for emergency use of the first Covid-19 vaccine is a significant milestone in battling this devastating pandemic that has affected so many families in the United States and around the world," FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in a statement. Expecting approval, States have been putting in place measures to pave way for distribution of the vaccine.
An EUA is short of a full approval and is meant to allow medicinal products to be used during an emergency. However, the developers are still expected to fulfil the requirements for full approval. While the news of the EUA are welcomed, the vaccine has one more hoop to jump through. Before vaccinations can commence, an advisory committee of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must also vote to recommend the vaccine. The committee is expected to meet on Saturday morning. Once all clearance requirements are met, about 20 million people would likely be vaccinated in the next few weeks, starting as early as next week.