The Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Friday as a second wave of the coronavirus continues to batter a pandemic-weary nation, the New York Times reported Friday night.
The approval comes after a government advisory panel backed the use of the vaccine, which paved the way for the FDA to grant its green light.
In a 17-4 vote with one abstention Thursday, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee concluded that the shot appears safe and effective for emergency use in people 16 and older.
Earlier Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar hinted approval was right around the corner and said people could be receiving the shot as early as Monday or Tuesday.
“I’ve got some good news for you,” Azar said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“Just a little bit ago, the FDA informed Pfizer that they do intend to proceed toward an authorization for their vaccine.”
The vaccine, developed by Pfizer and German company BioNTech, will be the first vaccine against the coronavirus in the US and trials show it is 95% effective in warding off an infection.
Last week, the booster was approved and immediately rolled out to citizens in the UK. Some British recipients have reported severe allergic reactions to the vaccine, but Pfizer reps told the FDA panel Thursday they’d seen no signs of such reactions in their trial.