Federal regulator approves Pfizer vaccine
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to approve the use of a vaccine against COVID-19, developed by the U.S. company Pfizer in collaboration with the German company BioNTech.
Already 2.9 million doses of the vaccine have been produced. U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the first vaccination will be administered in less than 24 hours.
The effectiveness of the vaccine is estimated at 95%. This decision could be a turning point in the fight against the epidemic, which has claimed more than 290,000 lives in the United States.
The FDA said the vaccine is safe for people 16 years of age and older. Decisions about vaccination priorities are up to individual states. However, medics and elderly people living in nursing homes are expected to be the first to receive the vaccine.
The U.S. Department of Health has said that the distribution of the vaccine across the country will begin immediately after the FDA decision and that vaccination will begin early next week.
Other vaccines produced by Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson are also pending FDA decisions.