BREAKING: FDA Officially Approves First Coronavirus Vaccine for Emergency Use

 
Pfizer BioNTech Vaccine

Photo credit: Joel Saget, AFP via Getty Images

The FDA has officially approved he Pfixer BioNTech vaccine for emergency use authorization to inoculate against the Covid-19 virus.

According to the New York Times, which first reported the news, the nation’s first vaccine for the coronavirus received full approval on Friday evening.

The authorization set off a complicated coordination effort from Pfizer, private shipping companies, state and local health officials, the military, hospitals and pharmacy chains to get the first week’s batch of about three million doses to health care workers and nursing home residents as quickly as possible, all while keeping the vaccine at ultracold temperatures.

Pfizer has a deal with the U.S. government to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine by next March. Under that agreement, the shots will be free to the public.

On Thursday, the FDA Advisory Committee voted to approve the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use authorization, which then moved the process to the next step, full agency approval. With the FDA’s approval in hand, the Centers for Disease Control will next issue its guidance for public health professionals, which is expected to come within 24 hours.

Millions of Pfizer vaccine doses have already been manufactured and pre-positioned around the country. They could be released for distribution as soon as the CDC’s guidance is released, meaning the early recipients of the vaccine could be inoculated as soon as this weekend.

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