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.
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.