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Pfizer: U.K. Begins Vaccine Rollout, FDA Set To Release Analyses

Now, the real fun begins.
(LookerStudio)
(LookerStudio)
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Less than a week after receiving emergency-use authorization, Pfizer began rolling out its vaccine in the U.K. on Tuesday, WSJ reports.

Those set to receive the first doses are people “over 80 years old, nursing-home workers and other high-risk health-care staff were front of the line: a group estimated to number six million.”

Coming next, the FDA is expected to approve Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S. On Tuesday, the regulator is set to “release detailed analyses of the first Covid-19 vaccine being considered for U.S. distribution, providing the foundation for Thursday’s pivotal meeting of a panel that will advise on its possible approval for emergency use.”

  • Pfizer had previously reported its vaccine had a 95% efficacy rate against symptomatic Covid-19.

The FDA’s analysis could provide more insight into the safety data collected from Pfizer’s late-stage trials. No severe side effects were observed, and the shot appears to be well-tolerated.

  • But Pfizer will still monitor participants for two years to assess how long vaccine-generated protection may last.

Looking Ahead: “A positive recommendation from the advisory panel is likely to lead to the FDA’s formally granting an emergency-use authorization of the vaccine in a matter of days.” Moderna’s Covid-19 will face review next week.

Distribution Issues: While 79% of U.K. people who participated in an Ipsos poll in October said they would take a Covid-19 vaccine, compared to 64% in the U.S., and supply-chain issues persist. The U.K. ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer’s shot, but it requires two, precisely-timed doses while being stored in a specific temperature-controlled environment. 

  • As a result, the British government has restricted the first stage of the rollout to 50 hospital hubs.

Justin Oh:

The real challenge will be distributing these vaccines to the masses. My hypothesis is still that this will be a gradual distribution over the course of 2021.

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