The much-awaited Pfizer vaccine has got emergency authorization approval from the FDA. This is big news for the US as it can help the public health care system to fight effectively against the Covid 19 pandemic that has killed close to 300,000 Americans this year.
Coronavirus Updates: Pfizer Vaccine Gets FDA Approval
The vaccine was developed at a record pace by Pfizer along with its German partner BioNTech with support from other health organizations around the world. The testing procedures that would typically take several years were cut down, and swift approvals were given for different stages of clinical trials. All these factors helped the companies to come out with a safe and effective vaccine in a short duration of time.
The efforts were also well funded by the governments, and this helped them to develop the vaccine that can block the symptoms of Covid 19 without any significant side effects in most people. As of now, the vaccine is proven safe in clinical trials for people aged 16 and above. It is yet to be thoroughly tested for children under 16, and experts suggest that children should avoid the vaccine as of now till further data is available in this regard.
In the initial stage, about 3 million healthcare workers and nursing home residents are likely to get the vaccines, and this may begin as early as Monday. However, experts also warn that the arrival of the vaccine will not end the pandemic immediately, and there is a lot of pain before things can be controlled entirely across the country. The vaccine at best may help to break the chain of transmission and slow down the number of cases and reduce the deaths in the next few months.
Many other vaccines are also in the pipeline and awaiting FDA authorization. Medical experts believe that the availability of multiple vaccines will help the public health care system to control the pandemic in the long run and people need to take two doses of the vaccine to get protection. In the early stages, there will be supply shortage issues, and authorities have a big problem dealing with this issue.
Yet another concern for the health experts is that not enough Americans are willing to take the vaccine even after the pandemic has caused so much havoc in recent months. Many of them believe that the vaccines are a hoax or they may not be able to provide proper protection without side effects. In this situation, efforts are needed by the governments to promote the vaccines.
Donald Trump announced that Pfizer had passed the gold standard of safety, and the vaccine was one of the most significant scientific accomplishments in history. He also announced that the administration had purchased an additional 100 million doses of Moderna coronavirus vaccine and the government now has a total order of 200 million doses.
Trump also hailed the vaccine as a medical miracle that would save millions of lives and end the pandemic completely. He announced that the first doses would be given in less than 24 hours, and frontline health workers are likely to be part of the program.
Trump also reminded that the administration had provided $14billion through Operation Warp Speed to accelerate the development of vaccines to several top manufacturers in the early months of the pandemic. Pfizer has got an investment of close to $2 billion, and it is expected to produce a total of nearly 600 million doses. Trump also added that the vaccine would be available free of cost for all Americans, and the administration had partnered with FedEx and UPS to start shipping the vaccines to every part of the country.
The vaccine developed by Moderna is also set to seek emergency authorization approval from the FDA. The panel will consider the clinical trial data and provide approval based on the recommendations of the experts. The CDC had claimed that the Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective when it came to protecting a majority of people above the age of 16. However, testing was needed to ascertain the impact of the vaccine on people who suffered from immune disorders and pregnant women. The manufacturers said that they would be working in this direction in the near future to provide better insights into the working of the vaccine on people of different age groups and ethnic backgrounds.