The Food and Drug Administration’s advisory panel on Thursday is considering the emergency use of Pfizer’s. If the vaccine is authorized by the FDA, the first shots could be distributed in the U.S. within days. Health care workers and nursing home residents would be among the first in line.
The panel of outside experts is reviewing trial data from Pfizer’s vaccine and is expected to make a recommendation to the FDA this afternoon. The day-long meeting, which began at 9 a.m., is streaming live on the FDA’s YouTube and Twitter pages, and CBSN will carry the vote on the panel’s recommendation.
How to watch the FDA committee’s vote on the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
- What: The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meets to discuss and vote on the request for emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, in partnership with BioNTech Manufacturing.
- Date: Thursday, December 10, 2020
- Time: Approximately 3:10 – 5 p.m. ET
- Online stream: Live in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device
The FDA is not required to follow the panel’s advice. “It is important to remember that the advisory committee is just that — it gives a recommendation to the FDA. It is nonbinding,” Stephen Hahn, the agency’s commissioner, told “CBS This Morning.”
“After we receive recommendations, we will incorporate that into our decision. We hope shortly thereafter, once we have the recommendations, we can make our own decision,” Hahn said.
The decision will come as the virus continues surging across the country. The U.S. on Wednesday recorded the most deaths in a single day: over 3,000, and hospitals are nearing capacity in intensive care units. Nearly 300,000 Americans have died from the virus, which has sickened over 15 million people in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.
Earlier this week, FDA scientists said Pfizer’s vaccine offers Americans strong protection and is up to 95% effective after two doses. The scientists said it’s effective no matter the person’s race, age, and weight. They said there are no major side-effects beyond fever, fatigue, and muscle aches.
However, British health officials on Wednesdaythat people with a history of “significant” allergic reactions to vaccines, medicine, or food should not be given Pfizer’s vaccine.
Hahn said the FDA is working closely with its partners in the U.K. to understand what happened with the allergic reactions. “We study the data very carefully to say who should not receive the vaccine and these are the things the FDA does to ensure the safety and effectiveness” of the drug, Hahn said Thursday.