Dec 10, 2020 - Health

FDA advisory panel endorses Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for emergency use

A care home staff receiving a dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech coronavirus vaccine in Belfast on Dec. 9.
A care home staff receiving a dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech coronavirus vaccine in Belfast on Dec. 9. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended the approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use on Thursday in a 17-4 vote that included one abstention.

Why it matters: The FDA is expected to make a final decision on the vaccine within days. If the emergency use authorization is approved, millions of doses will be shipped to vaccinate health care workers and nursing home residents, though the general public is not expected to have access to the vaccine until spring, according to AP.

The big picture: The FDA's vaccine advisory committee released an analysis of the vaccine on Tuesday and found no specific safety concerns by race, age, ethnicity, medical co-morbidities, or a prior COVID infection.

  • The United Kingdom approved Pfizer's vaccine last week and began administering doses this week.
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