WASHINGTON/PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization for the Prizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
A CDC committee will vote on the vaccine in a meeting later Saturday morning.READ MORE: Haunted Hills Hayride Reopens Friday Night With New Security Measures
If they accept the FDA’s recommendation, vaccines could roll in a matter of days.
Pfizer’s CEO says they will begin shipping out doses immediately.
The shipments contain enough vaccines to immunize roughly 3 million people.
Frontline medical workers and residents of long-term care facilities will receive the first doses. The rest of the country won’t receive the vaccine until spring at the earliest.READ MORE: Dr. Freddie Fu, World-Renowned UPMC Doctor, Dies At 70
Senior CDC officials say “active surveillance systems” will be in place to monitor the safety of the first vaccine recipients to track any potential adverse side effects.
The FDA says the vaccine is authorized for people ages 16 and older.
Clinical trials showed the vaccine was nearly 95% effective for adults ages 18 to 64 and was just as effective for people of all ethnicities.
People with weak immune systems, individuals with severe allergic reactions and pregnant women could be restricted from getting the shot.MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania Wildfire Season: 99 Percent Of Wildfires Caused By People
Important developments in COVID-19 vaccines have been and continue to be made right here in Pittsburgh, with multiple clinical trials run in part by the University of Pittsburgh.