Pfizer is all set to submit the request for emergency use authorization from the FDA for the covid-19 candidate vaccine. The latest developments indicate that the vaccine was more than 95% effective and has not caused any serious safety concerns during the trials. Considering these developments, medical professionals feel that the vaccine should qualify for emergency authorization from the FDA.
Once the request is submitted by the vaccine manufacturer, the FDA, along with its independent Advisors, will debate on the safety concerns before approving emergency usage of the vaccine. Apart from that, another group from the government will also decide how to manage vaccine supplies to the general public.
https://www.fda.gov/homeAccording to health care experts, the vaccine will first be available to frontline workers, and this can happen as early as December If the approval is given immediately by the FDA.
According to several analysts who are closely observing the covid-19 situation, about 25 million doses of the candidate vaccine may become available for the US by the end of December. Other than that, the company may be able to provide 30 million doses in January. At the global level, the company is expected to produce 50 million doses by the end of this year.
The discussion has now shifted to who would get the vaccine first, and the CDC, along with other experts, will make the final decision on this issue. The authorities have already prepared to distribute the vaccine to front line workers across the country, and this can be done within 24 hours after getting approval from the government and FDA. People who risked their lives to care for covid-19 patients will be the first to receive the vaccines.
According to the plan developed by the National Academy of medicine, the frontline health workers, including cleaners and first responders, are the most eligible to receive the vaccine. Next in line would be those patients who are under higher risk and have two or more chronic conditions. The age of the patient will also be considered, and people over the age of 65 will be given first preference as they are more vulnerable to this condition.
The second phase of vaccination will focus on critical workers who are in high-risk situations. This includes teachers and child care workers, and protecting them is of high priority as they interact with many students during the day.
The third phase will focus on vaccination of young adults, and people work in hotels, banks and factories. Children will also be considered In this phase if the vaccine is found safe for them. The final phase will focus on vaccination of the rest of the population residing in the US.
The number of coronavirus cases is increasing at a rapid pace, and this has become a huge concern for healthcare workers. In the last few weeks, the death toll in the US has crossed 250000, and it is expected to touch 400000 if proper precautions are not taken during the year and holidays.
The winter season is also believed to be a major contributing factor for the rise in the number of coronavirus cases across the country. As people tend to gather in closed environments during winter, the risk of virus transmission increases by a huge margin. Social distancing becomes a difficult task in this situation, and people are more likely to get infected during the holiday season.
Even the virus has better chances of survival in cold conditions, and this is also the main reason for the spike in the number of coronavirus cases. For this reason, several schools and educational institutions were closed, and most of them went back to virtual classes in the last few weeks. The authorities believe that it is still not safe for students to attend schools and colleges as there is a risk of communities spread in such places.
However, the arrival of a tested vaccine is good news for everyone, and this can at least secure the frontline workers from the threat of coronavirus soon. It would still take many months for everyone to get vaccinated and practising social distancing and using masks in public places is the best way to control the virus.