On Thursday, a panel of the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally recommended the FDA to authorize the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. 

The FDA’s vaccine advisory panel was composed of independent scientific experts, infectious disease doctors and statisticians. With a vote of 17 to 4, with one member abstaining, the panel gave a green light to the vaccine for emergency authorization for people 16 and older. With rare exceptions, the F.D.A. follows the advice of its advisory panels.

The FDA is likely to authorize the vaccine within days, giving health care workers and nursing home residents first priority to begin receiving the first shots early next week.

With this development, the USA may finally move toward slowing the spread of the virus as infections and deaths surge, reaching a record of more than 3,000 daily deaths on Wednesday. 

The F.D.A. is expected to grant an emergency use authorization on Saturday, according to reports, though they cautioned that last-minute legal or bureaucratic requirements could push the announcement to Sunday or later.

The initial shipment of 6.4 million doses will leave warehouses within 24 hours of being cleared by the F.D.A., according to US federal officials. About half of those doses will be sent across the country, and the other half will be reserved for the initial recipients to receive their second dose about three weeks later.


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