Finally, US authorizes Pfizer covid-19 vaccine, with first jab to be given in less than 24 hours
London, Dec. 12, 2020 (AltAfrica)-In what is hoped to be the beginning of the end of America’s COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday night authorized the first vaccine to prevent the disease.
The vaccine, developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, appears to be extremely safe and highly effective.
The Pfizer vaccine has received regulatory approval in the UK, Canada, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
The FDA’s emergency use authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine BNT162b2 in people ages 16 and up comes as the nation’s COVID-19 death toll tops the number of Americans who died on the battlefield in World War II.
President Donald Trump said the first inoculation would take place in less than 24 hours.
In a video message posted on Twitter, Mr Trump said that Pfizer had “passed the gold standard of safety” and hailed the vaccine as “one of the greatest scientific accomplishments in history”
he FDA’s endorsement came despite questions about allergic reactions in two people who received the vaccine earlier this week when the UK became the first country to begin dispensing the Pfizer-BioNTech shot.Advertisement
Panel member Dr Paul Offit, of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, concluded that the shot’s potential potential benefits outweighed its risks.
“Today is truly a historic event for humanity as a whole,” said Moncef Slaoui, an immunologist and retired pharmaceutical executive who helped lead the government’s vaccine development effort.
“Eleven months almost to the day after a pandemic virus sequence was identified and devastated lives and livelihoods across the globe, science, industry and government working together were able to discover develop and manufacture in a record time the first of a series of potent vaccines that undoubtedly will be pivotal to ridding us of this plague.”
The vaccine could start to be delivered into people’s arms as soon as Monday, if not earlier. About 2.9 million frontline health care workers and nursing home residents are expected to receive the vaccine in the first few days.
More vaccine will be rolled out in the weeks and months to come, with both of two front runners expected to deliver a combined 300 million doses of their vaccines by the middle of next year, enough to vaccinate nearly half the population of the U.S.