COVID vaccine: US CDC accepts advisory panel’s recommendation with first shots expected today

COVID vaccine US CDC accepts advisory panel's recommendation with first shots expected today

WASHINGTON: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Sunday (local time) signed off on the advisory panel’s recommendation to use Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in people of age 16 and older.

“This official CDC recommendation follows Friday’s [Food and Drug Administration (FDA)] decision to authorise the emergency use of Pfizer’s vaccine,” The Hill quoted Dr Robert Redfield as saying in a statement.

He further said, “As COVID-19 cases continue to surge throughout the US, CDC’s recommendation comes at a critical time. Initial COVID-19 vaccination is set to start as early as Monday, and this is the next step in our efforts to protect Americans, reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and help restore some normalcy to our lives and our country.”

Trucks with the first batches of the company’s long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine departed the Pfizer plant in Portage, Michigan, on Sunday morning to 636 predetermined locations. Pfizer is expected to deliver an estimated 2.9 million doses this week via UPS and FedEx, Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, said on Saturday, NBC reported.

The vaccines leaving Portage — a city just south of Kalamazoo — have US Marshal protection to ensure they arrive safely at the hospital systems selected to receive the doses, some as early as Monday. According to the latest update by the Johns Hopkins University, in the US as many as 16,184,350 people have tested positive for coronavirus and 298,685 deaths have been reported so far. (ANI)