The recommendation for US to approve first vaccine follows new daily record for Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday.
Members of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee recommended the Food and Drug Administration grant the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech emergency use authorization. This will be the first vaccine to be approved by the FDA for Covid-19, following in the footsteps of the UK regulator a few days ago. While there has been little doubt about the outcome of the deliberations, the news still signals yet another important step in the fight against the pandemic, especially for the US which is the most affected country with more than 15 million cases and close to 300,000 deaths.
However, leading up to Thursday, the optimism that surrounded what most considered a formality was overshadowed by an unwelcomed headline showing the US’s daily death toll from Covid-19 reached a record high of 3,124 on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The startling figure is higher than the death toll reported after the 9/11 attacks. To make matters worse, Covid-19 hospitalizations also reached a new record high of 106,688 on the same day. Following the recommendation, the FDA is expected to grant authorization in the coming days, with the vaccine is expected to be distributed nationwide as quickly as the 15th of December.